This year’s NBA Hall of Fame class is definitely stacked with some serious ballers!
#16HoopClass included not only players Shaquille O'Neal, Allen Iverson, Yao Ming, Sheryl Swoopes, Zelmo Beaty, and Cumberland Posey, but also referee Darell Garrettson, coaches Tom Izzo and John McLendon and owner Jerry Reinsdorf. Of course, NBA coaches had nothing but praise and good memories with them!
Washington Wizards head coach Scott Brooks, who played 10 seasons in the NBA with 6 different teams, spoke well of A.I. and Shaq’s amazing skills on the court. “"A.I. crossed me up so many times, I said, 'What the heck? I've got to get out of this league,' " the Washington Wizards' new coach said. "Shaq was incredible. Just to see him do the things that he did was mind-boggling. People see Shaq in person, they can't believe. You see him on the court or on TV, you go, 'OK, he's big.' But in person, whoa.”
Steve Clifford, head coach of the Charlotte Hornets, weighed in on working with Yao and his character on and off the court. “With Yao, we got there [to coach Houston, with Clifford as an assistant to Jeff Van Gundy] his second year. Not only the kind of player he was, but how hard he worked,” Steve commented. “The kind of teammate he was. It was a great four years... Just his whole approach, to working, to winning. He did it all, from the weight room to the way he took care of himself. ... He has great wit, a very personable guy. A terrific player, a great teammate and a great guy."
All of these folks put in the work behind the scenes and it paid off extensively in their careers! They all definitely deserve the honor of being inducted for what they each brought to the game.
The nominees were inducted officially with a huge ceremony in Springfield, Massachusetts. Congrats to all the inductees!