Yao Ming, Allen Iverson and Shaquille O’Neal were entered in to the 2016 Naismith Hall of Fame with memorable speeches, secrets revealed and three legends enshrined for life.
Yao Ming did not want to start the ceremony, jokingly requesting that Iverson begin instead of him. When Yao got going the legendary Chinese big man admitted that his career might have ended too early but he cherished each and every minute that he played in the NBA.
Iverson, normally rebellious and against wearing suits, shocked all by rocking a black suit for the ceremony.
Iverson’s speech was heartfelt, emotional and unforgettable. There was not one person that he didn’t thank. From stating that Georgetown Hoyas coach John Thompson saved his life to thanking Tupac, Biggie Smalls, Jadakiss and Michael Jackson for providing the soundtrack to his career.
Big Shaq to many was the main event, O’Neal spent 19 years in the NBA and while he won championships and MVP trophies, he also had fun while doing it.
Among those Shaq thanked during his speech was the recently retired Kobe Bryant.
“Kobe Bryant, a guy who will push me and help me win three titles in a row but also help me get pushed off the team and traded to Miami,” was perhaps the quote of the night from O’Neal.