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Basketball HOF likely to reduce eligibility wait

This could be huge. is reporting that the Naismith Basketball Hall of Fame is looking to reduce the years of eligibility following retirement from five years to four years, the main reason being that this will allow five calendar years to take place after a player retires to officially enter the Hall. 

Should this move take place, heavyweight (literally) candidate Shaquille O’Neal will be able to enter the Hall a year earlier as he is currently eligible for the Hall in 2017.  This would also include Yao Ming, which could make next year’s class one for the ages as Allen Iverson is entering his first year of eligibility. 

It is also expected that the direct entry ABA Selection Committee will be dropped, thus rendering anyone with ABA play on their resume to have to gain entry via the main road, the North American Committee, which nominates and inducts players, coaches or contributors from the North American professional, collegiate and high school game.

Once all of this becomes official, we will immediately begin work on revising our Basketball list to reflect the changes.

Shaq and Allen Iverson headline the list of Finalists for the Basketball HOF

It is All Star Game Weekend and as is customary, the Naismith Basketball Hall of Fame has announced their Finalists for the 2016 Class, which as expected includes two major names who re now eligible following the decrease by one year of the waiting time following retirement.

Here are the Basketball Hall of Fame Finalists for this year:

Charles “Lefty” Driesell (Coach):  The only coach in NCAA history to take four programs to 100 wins and the only coach to be Conference Coach of the Year in four different conferences.  He has a record of 786 and 394 and is already a member of the College Basketball Hall of Fame.

Darrell Garretson (Referee):  A veteran of 27 years as an official in the NBA, refereeing 1,798 Regular Season Games and 269 NBA Playoff Games.

Robert Hughes (Coach):  A high school basketball in Texas for 47 years with 35 district championships and five state championships.  His overall record is 1,333 and 247.

Allen Iverson (Player):  A former MVP and three time First Team All Pro, who carried the Philadelphia 76ers to an NBA Final.  He is also a four time Scoring Champion and three time Steals Champion.

Tom Izzo (Coach):  A former NCAA Coach of the Year, Izzo took Michigan State to the NCAA Title in 2000 and seven Final Fours.

Kevin Johnson (Player):  A four time Second Team All-Star and three time All Star, Johnson is primarily responsible for keeping the Sacramento Kings in California’s capital.

John McLendon (Coach):  The first head coach to win three consecutive NAIA Championships when he did so with Tennessee State.  He is a African-American pioneer in coaching.

Shaquille O’Neal (Player):  A four time NBA Champion, O’Neal is a fifteen time All Star and former NBA MVP.

Bo Ryan (Coach):  A four time NCAA Division III Champion (Wisconsin-Platteville) and has taken the University of Wisconsin to two Final Fours.

Eddie Sutton (Coach):  A four time National Coach of the Year and is the first Head Coach to take four teams to the NCAA Tournament.

Leta Andrews, Muffet McGraw, Sheryl Swoopes and the Wayland Baptist University Team are the women’s Finalists. 

This year’s Basketball Hall of Fame Class will be announced at this year’s Final Four in April.

The 2016 Basketball Hall of Fame Class is inducted!

It is Basketball Hall of Fame weekend and dare we say that this is perhaps our favorite group since we started our site six years ago.

How can it not be as the top three players on our list, Shaquille O’Neal, Allen Iverson and Yao Ming, were all selected, and it is hard to think of a triumvirate as different as those three.

Despite there being three first ballot Hall of Famers, there shouldn’t be a question as to which one is the headliner; it is the man who is also the biggest.

Shaquille O’Neal came into the NBA as the first overall draft pick in 1992, and the LSU Tiger did not disappoint.  Instantly, the new Center for the Orlando Magic was a worldwide phenomenon and he took the Magic to the NBA Finals in 1995.  O’Neal would sign with the Los Angeles Lakers later as a free agent and lead them to three NBA Championships, and would later help the Miami Heat win their first title.  Shaq’s trophy chest contains an MVP, 15 All Star Game appearances, 8 First Team All NBA Selections, 2 Second Team All NBA Selections, 4 Third Team All NBA Selections and 2 Scoring Titles.

O’Neal currently is 7th all time in Points, 7th in Blocks and 13th in Rebounds.  He remains a public figure on television most notably with his work on TNT’s Basketball broadcasts.

During the ceremony, O’Neal had the line of the night, thanking Kobe Bryant; “A guy that would push me and help me win three titles in a row (and) he would also help me get pushed off the team and traded to Miami”

While O’Neal was the headliner, Allen Iverson was clearly had the most entertaining speech of the evening.

In a 31 minute monologue, “A.I” covered everything from Michael Jordan, Biggie Smalls, Tupac and Dave Chapelle and reminded everyone why he was not just a basketball superstar but also an urban icon. 

Known mostly for his exploits with the Philadelphia 76ers, “The Answer” took the Sixers to the 2001 NBA Finals, the same season he won the MVP.  The former Georgetown Hoya won four scoring titles and was named to seven All NBA Teams (three First, three Second and one Third) and was an 11 Time All Star.  Iverson also led the NBA in steals three times.

Yao Ming, from China, becomes the first Chinese player to enter the Hall of Fame.  Largely considered responsible for the basketball boom in China, Ming starred for the Houston Rockets and was chosen an All NBA Second Team member twice and went to eight All Star Games.  The 7’ 6’’ Ming remains a basketball ambassador in China.  Ming took China to three FIBA Asian Championships. 

While there was no doubt that these three were the stars of the show, the Basketball Hall of Fame welcomed many more to Springfield, Massachusetts.

Current Michigan State Men’s Basketball Coach, Tom Izzo was also inducted.  Izzo currently has a 524-205 record and took the Spartans to the 2000 NCAA Title.  He is also a former AP College Coach of the Year.

Sheryl Swoopes is this year’s female entrant.  Swoopes was the first WNBA signee, and won three WNBA MVPS and three Olympic Gold Medals.

Chicago Bulls owner, Jerry Reinsdorf who presided over the Bulls dynasty of the 1990’s was also officially inducted.

The remaining inductees of this years class were 27 year veteran referee, Darrel Garretson, Early African-American Selection, Cumberland Posey, John McLendon, who is entering for the second time as a coach (he was previously inducted as a contributor) and Zelmo Beaty, who is a member of the all-time ABA Team.

We here at would like to congratulate this class and we look forward to continuing the debate as to who should go in next!

Awards = HOF? Part Thirteen: The NBA All Star Game MVP

We here at thought it would be fun to take a look at the major awards in North American team sports and see how it translates into Hall of Fame potential.

Needless to say, different awards in different sports yield hall of fame potential.  In basketball, the team sport with the least amount of players on a roster, the dividend for greatness much higher.  In baseball, it is not as much as a great individual season does not have the same impact.

7. Shaquille O'Neal

A long time fan of professional wrestling, Shaquille O’Neal first appeared on wrestling programming when he was with Hulk Hogan when he won his first WCW World Heavyweight Title.  O’Neal would later host Monday Night Raw and most recently appeared as a surprise entrant in the third annual Andre the Giant Memorial Battle Royal at Wrestlemania.  If a rumored match with the Big Show does take place, O’Neal should be a lock for the Celebrity Wing.
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