It seems fitting that Allen Iverson and Shaquille O'Neal will be in the same Naismith Basketball Hall of Fame Class, because for so many years they competed against each other as the tall and the short.
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O'Neal, who stands at 7'1", played 19 seasons in the NBA, where he averages 23.7 points and 10.9 rebounds. He was the 2000 MVP and a 3-time MVP in the NBA Finals.
Iverson, clocking in at just about 6', averaged 26.7 points and 6.2 assists in his 14 seasons. His MVP season came in 2001. He is mostly known for his tenure with the Philadelphia 76ers, but will also go into the Hall of Fame as the only Grizzlies player there, according to ESPN.
The 2016 class will have 10 new inductees, including:
- Yao Ming, who was the #1 pick in the 2002 NBA Draft. His career with the Houston Rockets was cut short after injuries sidelined him in 2010.
- Jerry Reinsdorf, former owner of the Chicago Bulls, whose team was dominated the 90s by winning six championships.
- Sheryl Swoopes, 3-time Olympic gold medalist and 4-time WNBA champion - plus 3-time WNBA MVP.
- Tom Izzo, Michigan State head coach, who had seven trips to the Final Four and the 2000 NCAA title.
There are four posthumous inductees as well, including:
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- Zelmlo Beatty, who spent most of his career in the ABA, averaging 17.1 points and 10.9 rebounds.
- Darell Garretson, a former referee
- John McLendon, a former coach who led his teams to three NAIA championships.
- Cumberland Posey, also a member of the Baseball Hall of Fame, joins as a player from the early 1900s.