Blog Entry

Yao Ming to enter Naismith Hall of Fame in 2012?

Posted on: August 8, 2011 9:00 pm
Edited on: August 8, 2011 9:03 pm
Posted by Ben Golliver


When Houston Rockets center Yao Ming announced his retirement from the NBA in July at a ceremony in Beijing, the league's commissioner David Stern promised that the league hadn't seen the last of him. Indeed, it now sounds like we'll be seeing more of Yao on a grand stage even sooner than we might have imagined. reported on Monday that there is a loophole in the Hall of Fame's rules that could see Yao fast-tracked for induction.
According to enshrinement guidelines for the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame, “A player must be fully retired for five years before being eligible for Enshrinement. He/she may then be considered for Enshrinement in the sixth year of retirement.”

Because the Rockets center appeared in five games this past season, that would have him eligible in 2017.

However, there is no such waiting period when it comes to enshrining a “contributor.” And that could create the need for a Beijing-Springfield non-stop as soon as next summer.
Later Monday, reported that representatives from the Chinese Basketball Association and media will likely proceed with nominating Yao under the "contributor" umbrella for possible enshrinement with the Class of 2012.
While there is no such thing as certainty in a balloting so secretive that even the voters are never revealed, let alone the results, Yao as a contributor removes the debate that might have accompanied his nomination as a player after a career decimated by injury. Plus, after announcing his retirement from the Rockets in July, he would not have been eligible for enshrinement until 2017. 

This unique approach would put Yao on the ballot that is submitted in late-2011 and faces two rounds of voting before inductees for the Class of 2012 are announced at the Final Four in New Orleans. The actual enshrinement would be later in the summer, likely August, in Springfield.

Yao has not yet been nominated, but John Doleva, the president and CEO of the Hall, reported he has talked with Chinese basketball officials and media who called to get clarification on the process. They replied, Doleva said, that paperwork would come in time for the 2012 ballot.

When word first broke that Yao was planning to hang it up, the Eye on Basketball staff agreed unanimously that Yao would enter the Hall of Fame for his impact on the globalization of the game even if he wasn't inducted based on the merits of his injury-plagued career. We just had no idea it would happen this quickly.  


Since: Jul 5, 2007
Posted on: August 8, 2011 9:57 pm

Yao Ming to enter Naismith Hall of Fame in 2012?

is this the same yao ming that im thinking of? they shouldnt let that guy in with a tour group

Since: May 24, 2010
Posted on: August 8, 2011 9:41 pm

Yao Ming to enter Naismith Hall of Fame in 2012?

Yao Ming would be the worst player to ever even be considered for the Hall of Fame. It's bad enough that he gets a starting spot in the all-star game every year, don't give him a spot in the hall it would be a disgrace to the game. He stood 7' 6" tall and only grabbed 9 rebounds per game and 19 points per game, not even to mention that he only played 8 seasons in the NBA and only 4 of those seasons did he last 60+ games. The Hall of Fame is not a popularity contests, it is for the best players in basketball, don't put this very average center who never made the finals and played a very short career in the HoF. 

Since: May 28, 2008
Posted on: August 8, 2011 9:40 pm

Yao Ming to enter Naismith Hall of Fame in 2012?

There is no way he deserves to be in the Hall of Fame as a player but if they wanna send him in for his part in making the NBA global then I guess I dont have an issue with that. They are rewarding him for all the money they made off him even though he didnt accomplish much!

Since: Jul 3, 2007
Posted on: August 8, 2011 9:35 pm

Yao Ming to enter Naismith Hall of Fame in 2012?

Absolutely ridiculous.  He is going to be in the Hall of Fame just because he is from China and not based on what he did in his career.  What is even the point to be in the Hall of Fame then?

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