With a recent rule change, three of the NBA’s most memorable heroes have become eligible for the prestigious Hall of Fame this year. All with distinct skill sets, styles, and backgrounds, all three of these shared one thing in common, the fact that they could all really play the game. One a 7’6″ giant, another a dominating force in the paint, and possibly the best pound for pound scorer to ever grace the floor. Which one of these three guys was the most memorable to you?
Yao Ming: Ming came to the league as a highly praised CBA star with post skills for days, unteachable height, and a mild mannerism that would eventually make him well liked amongst his peers. Drafted to the Rockets with the first pick in 2002, Ming established his prowess early on in his career as he was voted as a starter to the Western Conference All-Star team in his rookie year. Ming’s play only developed as his career went along, and at the peak of his game Yao was averaging a stellar 25 points, two blocks, and nearly ten rebounds. Voted to the All-Star team eight times, a five time All-NBA player, and a trailblazer for the Chinese/Asian community in basketball, how do you rank Ming in memorability amongst this strong competition? If you need a reminder, here you go.
Allen Iverson: Cool, check, Controversial, check, Memorable, double check. The king of the crossover is undoubtedly one of the NBA’s most polarizing figures of the past 20 years. Coming into he league in one of the most stacked drafts, the ’96 NBA Draft, AI made his name in this league immediately averaging a hot 23 points, and seven assists. The legend of The Answer only grew from there, as Iverson made his name in the league as not only the savior of a dilapidated Philadelphia organization, but also an elite scorer (31.4 PPG at his scoring peak). An eleven time All-Star, four time Scoring Champion, MVP, and six time All NBA teamer, Iverson’s flashy career was one filled with extreme skill rivaled only by extreme emotion. Iverson’s elite play is probably best summed up by this unforgettable play in the 2001 finals, but if that’s not enough, simply search the guys name on YouTube and be amazed.
Shaquille O’Neal: A man of many names, but even more game. The Diesel, or Shaq, is easily one of the top 15 greatest players to ever play in the NBA, yet was he one of the most memorable? Coming into this league as the star LSU center with loads of ability, frightening athleticism, and even more personality, O’Neal never disappointed throughout his phenomenal 19 year career. In his prime with the Los Angeles Lakers, the Big Aristotle averaged an astounding 27 points, 12 rebounds, and nearly three blocks on his way to leading the purple and gold to a three peat. No one should question his game, and if you’re still questioning whether he was memorable or not, here you go.
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All Statistics from Basketball References.com
All images from Google
All videos from YouTube