2016 Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame Class
Allen Iverson, Shaquille O’Neal and Yao Ming are all going to the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame. The 2016 class was announced on Monday morning in Springfield, Massachusetts.
Joining Iverson, O’Neal and Yao in this year’s class: Michigan State head coach Tom Izzo, four-time WNBA champion Sheryl Swoopes, Chicago Bulls owner Jerry Reinsdorf, longtime referee Darell Garretson, pioneering coach John McClendon, NBA and ABA star Zelmo Beaty and multi-sport star Cumberland Posey.
This is one of the most star-studded classes in Hall of Fame history. Iverson is a cultural icon, one of the biggest names of his generation and will go down as one of the most prolific scorers in NBA history. O’Neal is one of the best centers to ever play the game, and he was named one of the league’s 50 greatest players just four years into his career. You’ll want to record both of their induction speeches.
Iverson’s Storied Career
Iverson, who starred at Georgetown and was the No. 1 overall pick in the 1996 NBA draft, was a nine-time all-star during his 14-year NBA career with Philadelphia, Detroit, Denver and Memphis. He averaged 26.7 points per game and led the Sixers to the 2001 NBA Finals, where Philadelphia lost to Shaquille O’Neal and the Lakers.
Shaq Was an Obvious Selection
Shaquille O’Neal was a no-brainer pick into the Basketball Hall of Fame as one of the most dominating forces the NBA has ever seen. The man with more nicknames than you can count teamed up with Kobe Bryant to form one of the best duos of all time. O’Neal finished his career with four NBA titles, three Finals MVPs and one regular-season MVP
A Spartan Heading to the Basketball Hall of Fame
In his 21 seasons as the Michigan State Spartans’ head coach, Izzo has gone to seven Final Fours, tied for the most of any program during the stretch. He won the 2000 national title in his fourth season and has compiled seven Big Ten titles and four Big Ten tournament titles with a career record of 524-205.
He becomes the seventh active college coach to earn induction, joining Jim Boeheim of Syracuse, Larry Brown of Southern Methodist, John Calipari of Kentucky, Mike Krzyzewski of Duke, Rick Pitino of Louisville and Roy Williams of North Carolina.
The Female MJ: Sheryl Swoopes
Sheryl Swoopes led Texas Tech to the 1993 NCAA championship with 47-points in the title game. She was the first player signed by the WNBA and won three MVP trophies from 2000 to 2005. The three-time WNBA champion was also a member of six WNBA All-Star teams.