Shaq, Iverson and Yao inducted into HOF; Most no. 1 picks in the same class

Shaq, Iverson and Yao inducted into HOF; Most no. 1 picks in the same class

In the latest Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame induction, Shaquille O’Neal, Allen Iverson and Yao Ming headlined the event. Aside from the three superstars, the induction also featured WNBA great Sheryl Swoopes, coach Tim Izzo and owner Jeff Reinsdorf, one of the biggest names in the Michael Jordan-led Chicago Bulls championship team in the 90s. The three-hour induction ceremony on Friday night did not only induct star-studded names into the hall of fame, it was also a record-breaking event with most no. 1 picks in the same hall of fame class.

ALSO READ: Shaq, Yao Ming and Allen Iverson named as finalists for 2016 Naismith Hall of Fame class

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O’Neal was the number 1 pick for the Orlando Magic in 1992, Iverson for the Philadelphia 76ers in 1996 and Yao for the Houston Rockets in 2002.

According to Bleacher Report, both O’Neal and Iverson each had NBA MVP awards, while Yao racked up five All-NBA selection in a six-year span. Yao and O’Neal are considered to be two of the largest and most imposing men to ever play the game, while Iverson was so ferocious in his play that he could be considered as the ‘pound-for-pound GOAT’.The three superstars each had different personalities on and off the basketball court and they all had the charisma which helped promote the league. Their influence pushed the NBA beyond the realm of basketball and into the world of hip-hop and Hollywood.

ALSO READ: Allen Iverson and the Top 5 Moments of his Hall of Fame career

Posthumous honorees include 27-year NBA referee Darell Garretson; John McLendon, the first African-American coach in a professional league; Zelmo Beaty, the former NBA and ABA star who led Prairie View to an NAIA title in 1962; and Cumberland Posey, who is also a member of the Baseball Hall of Fame, according to The Sydney Morning Herald.

Photo courtesy: Jacopo/Flickr