Former Sixers great Allen Iverson inducted into the Hall

Swoopes, one the most successful women's basketball players in USA history, became the Hall of Famer one year after her long-time national teammate Lisa Leslie was introduced on the same stage in 2015.

Off the court, he's been just as colossal.

He has helped build an global following for the National Basketball Association and brought love and interest of the game to China.

Rivers said he also talked to Ray Allen, who was part of the '07 team in Boston but didn't play in the National Basketball Association last season. However, his global impact and helping the growth of the game in China can not be underestimated. It was so many people, so many fans that came in there and cheered for me, night in and night out. "Orange fits perfectly for basketball", said Colangelo.

He said being in the same class with a guy like Iverson was appropriate for two players who brought their own unique styles to the National Basketball Association - O'Neal as an imposing force in the middle and Iverson as a small player whose skill and personal bravado still resonate today. "I would love to see the next generation of Chinese players surpass the accomplishments of my generation".

The Question Mid and Shaq Attaq, according to Reebok, pay homage to Iverson's and O'Neal's lasting marks on basketball and popular culture of the time. It's just one of the many programmes Yao uses to spread his love of basketball to China's youth, and there will likely be many more to come.

"Man, I wanted to be like Mike", said Iverson. "We had to change the way we played and approached the game to utilize all of Allen's gifts".

Yao himself wistfully acknowledged a career that "ended too soon" as he was inducted.

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Shortly after taking the stage and thanking those in attendance, Yao said that Allen Iverson should have been the first one to speak, not him.

The towering centre was joined in the class of 2016 by the likes of center Shaquille O'Neal and guard Allen Iverson.

For another, from the moment he appeared to great cheers from the fans lining the downtown concert hall's steep steps until his halting but heartfelt acceptance speech concluded to thunderous applause, he seemed on the verge of tears.

"We've been having conversations, he said he's interested in my son, and as a proud father, I can't wait to have that conversation", O'Neal said. Rocking nervously from side to side, as if he were preparing to blow by an unseen defender, he went through a long litany of "Thank-you's" and "I-love-you's".

O'Neal ranks seventh on the NBA's all-time scoring list (28,596 points), 14th in rebounding (13,099) and was part of four championship squads - three with the Los Angeles Lakers and one with the Miami Heat.

"We all look older and fatter than when we first met", Yao, 35, joked as he reminisced about his career.

Iverson did not elaborate on the specifics of said personal situation, but did open up about his former Sixers teammates.

At the induction ceremony, former Houston Rockets player Yao Ming, who played for eight seasons after being selected by the team in 2002, gave an inspiring and humorous speech.

(Copyright © 2015. All Rights Reserved.)

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