VIDEO: 2016 Hall of Fame finalists announced
From NBA.com staff reports
A legendary NBA center and two of the toughest guards to ever play in the NBA mark the list of 14 basketball standouts selected as 2016 Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame finalists.
Shaquille O’Neal won an MVP in 2000, was a three-time NBA Finals MVP, the Rookie of the Year in 1993 and won four championships in the NBA and is one of the two centers in this year’s class. He played 19 years in the NBA averaging 23.7 points, 10.9 rebounds and 2.3 blocks per game. A 15-time NBA All-Star (1993-98, 2000-07, 2009), O’Neal led the league in field goal percentage for 10 seasons (1994, 1998-2002, 2004-06, 2009) and ranks seventh on the NBA all-time scoring list.
Philadelphia 76ers guard Allen Iverson won the NBA MVP in 2001 and led his team to The Finals that year (where they faced — and lost to — O’Neal’s Los Angeles Lakers) and was one of the most skilled and toughest players in league history. He was an 11-time All-Star and one of the most influential players of his generation, averaging 26.7 points and 6.2 assists per game in 14 seasons.
Former Phoenix Suns guard (and current Sacramento mayor) Kevin Johnson was a three-time All-Star, a key member of the Suns team that made the 1993 Finals and one of the best playmakers of his era. As mayor, he was a major advocate of keeping the Sacramento Kings NBA team in the city when it was at high risk of moving.
The other inductees in this year’s class:
- Former high school coach Leta Andrews
- Former college coach Charles “Lefty” Driesell
- Former NBA referee Darrell Garretson
- Former high school coach Robert Hughes
- Current Michigan State coach Tom Izzo
- Current Notre Dame women’s basketball coach Muffet McGraw
- Former college coach John McLendon
- Former college coach Bo Ryan,
- Former college coach Eddie Sutton
- Former WNBA star Sheryl Swoopes
- The 1954-58 Wayland Baptist Univ. women’s basketball team
Current TNT analyst David Aldridge won of the Curt Gowdy Award for print media while ESPN analyst Jay Bilas won the Curt Gowdy Award winner for electronic media. Jim Delaney, the commissioner of the Big Ten, wins the John Bunn Lifetime Achievement Award, the Hall’s highest honor short of enshrinement.