NBA legends Allen Iverson and Shaquille O’Neal headline the 2016 Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame finalists, as the retired superstars get ready to be immortalized in basketball history.
Among others, this year’s list inclides first-time finalists: 9-time All-Star Allen Iverson, 3-time Finals MVP, 4-time NBA champion Shaquille O’Neal, as well as former NBA All-Star, Sacramento Mayor Kevin Johnson.
“To be nominated as a Finalist for the Basketball Hall of Fame is a tremendous accomplishment,” said Jerry Colangelo, Chairman of the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame. “Each finalist in the Class of 2016 has had a distinct impact on the the game we all love. Selecting the Enshrinees for the Class of 2016 will be a challenging task for the Honors Committee, but we look forward to making the announcement at the NCAA Final Four in April.”
As announced in 2015, three distinct modifications have been made to the election process for the upcoming class. Most notably, potential honorees are eligible on the ballot for Hall of Fame enshrinement after four full seasons of retirement – which allows for the inclusion of Shaquille O’Neal and Yao Ming on the Class of 2016 ballot, according to NBA.com.
Meanwhile, Yao Ming’s nomination falls within the Direct Elect International Committee. Enshrinees from the Direct Elect Committees will be recognized at the NCAA Men’s Final Four in Houston in April.
The complete list of 10 finalists from the North American Screening Committee includes: players Allen Iverson, Kevin Johnson and Shaquille O’Neal, coaches Charles “Lefty” Driesell, Robert Hughes, Tom Izzo, John McLendon, Bo Ryan and Eddie Sutton and referee Darell Garrettson. From the Women’s Screening Committee: coaches Leta Andrews, Muffet McGraw, player Sheryl Swoopes and Wayland Baptist University.
The Class of 2016 will be announced on April 4 at a press conference in Houston prior to the NCAA Men’s Championship game. A finalist needs 18 of 24 votes from the Honors Committee for election into the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame.
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