All 10 people deserve Hall of Fame status, but since this is an NBA blog, I would like to reflect on Shaquille O'Neal, Yao Ming, and Allen Iverson.#16HoopClass: Shaq, Yao, Iverson, Sheryl Swoopes, Zelmo Beaty, Darell Garretson, Tom Izzo, John McLendon, Cumberland Posey, Jerry Reinsdorf.— InsideHoops.com NBA (@InsideHoops) September 9, 2016
Shaquille O'Neal: Shaquille O'Neal is one of the most dominant big men the NBA has ever seen. He won four NBA championships and reached the NBA Finals six times. He averaged 23.7 points and 10.9 rebounds per game during his entire career and at his peak averaged close to 30 points and 14 rebounds per game. What I've liked most about Shaquille O'Neal is that he had fun along the way. While he brought his A-game every night and delivered the goods, he did it with a smile on his face and understood that the NBA is as much about entertainment as it is about competition. His understanding of this is well reflected on Inside The NBA, where he combines comedy and humor with quality insight.
Allen Iverson: Allen Iverson might be the greatest player to play the game at 6'0 and under. "The Answer" showed up every night and played with as much heart as anyone we've ever seen play the game. He didn't let his size prevent him from putting up big numbers. In the 2000-01 season, he was awarded with the NBA regular season MVP award due to his 31.1 points per game and ability to carry the 76ers on his back. He took the 76ers all the way to the NBA Finals and put up a remarkable performance in Game 1 to steal a game in Los Angeles before falling to the Lakers in five games. It's unfortunate that his "practice rant" became so famous because in truth, Iverson played with a tremendous amount of heart and never gave up.
Yao Ming: While his NBA career was cut short due to injury (8 seasons), Yao Ming has made a tremendous impact on the game of basketball from a global perspective. Thanks to Yao Ming, the NBA and the game of basketball has flourished in China. Without him, basketball wouldn't be nearly as global as it is now. So, while his NBA career doesn't warrant hall of fame status, his impact on the sport absolutely does warrant hall of fame status.