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Yao Ming: Hall of Fame nomination should wait

Posted on: August 31, 2011 2:35 pm
Edited on: August 31, 2011 5:16 pm
Posted by Ben Golliver


Only one person is standing between Yao Ming and the Naismith Basketball Hall of Fame Class of 2012. That person is Yao Ming himself.

Shortly after Yao retired from the NBA due to ongoing injury issues earlier this summer, word surfaced that representatives of the Chinese Basketball Association wanted to fast-track his nomination to the Hall of Fame, nominating him as a contributor to the game rather than as a player and thereby allowing him to bypass the standard five-year waiting period. If successful, Yao would have been inducted next summer. reports that Yao believes that plan is "inappropriate" and would rather let some time pass. 
A representative of former Houston Rockets center Yao Ming informed the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame Wednesday that Yao feels it is premature for him to be on the ballot for the Hall of Fame in 2012.

"Yao believes it is inappropriate for him to be considered for induction to the Hall of Fame at this time," said John Huizinga, Yao's agent, in an interview with FOX 26 Sports.

The Associated Press adds a few additional details from the Hall of Fame's CEO John Doleva.

"[Yao's agent] indicated that Yao has great respect for the institution and equal respect for those elected before his consideration," Doleva said in a phone interview. "He just feels that it's too soon to be considered as a contributor."

"I got the feeling that he and his people have thought long and hard about this," Doleva said. "I appreciated the fact that he referenced his respect for the institution, especially for those who've been elected."

Well, that's typical Yao, pure class through and through. 

There's no question that he will eventually enter the Hall, but there's also no rush either. If Yao is uncomfortable with the attention or questions that would accompany a fast-track nomination or if he simply wants to be treated on the same level as the other players that came before him or played alongside him, that is totally understandable. The last thing you want entering an immortal place like the Hall is someone trying to float an asterick next to your name.

Further, an induction to the Hall of Fame is meant to be a reflective exercise, and it's difficult to look back with perspective without a significant amount of time passing. An extra two, three or four years would only make the occasion that much more memorable.

Over eight NBA seasons, Yao averaged 19.0 points, 9.2 rebounds and 1.9 blocks per game. His credentials for induction as a player are questionable, but his key role in the globalization of basketball makes him a lock for induction as a contributor. The only question now is when.

Hat tip:


Since: Jul 27, 2011
Posted on: September 1, 2011 8:58 am

Yao Ming: Hall of Fame nomination should wait

Hall of Fame?   Ummm.   Did the guy even win a playoff game?    

Since: Oct 18, 2006
Posted on: September 1, 2011 8:51 am

Yao Ming: Hall of Fame nomination should wait

"There's no question that he will eventually enter the Hall"


How is he possibly getting into the HOF?

Is there some sort of provision for being tall and Chinese?

Since: Aug 25, 2009
Posted on: September 1, 2011 1:32 am

Yao Ming: Hall of Fame nomination should wait

As usual, and typically, the Communist bullies in Beijing want to try to push Yao Ming into the Hall of Fame, ignoring the rules that others have to follow. Kind of reminds me of their method for gaining entry to the WTO. And as usual, Yao himself gets it absolutely right.  Also typically. Yao Ming was and is one of the classiest guys to play the game. period. I was no fan when he entered the League and in fact made some rather patronizing projections of his eventual accomplishments. And he has proven me completely wrong. Good man and a tremendous basketball player. had he managed to remain healthy, he and Dwight Howard would dominate the NBA center position. No one else is close, in my opinion.

But is Yao worhty of the Hall? Well. As many other commenter have already noted, Yao's credentials for induction as a player are extremely borderline. I admire and respect the guy immensely, but it must be stated that his injuries never allowed him to play to his potential. He had all the requiiste skills and was a far superior shooter to either Shaq or Howard. I think that of all the great centers, only Kareem can really be compared as a shooter. And he was tremndously skilled in other aspects of the game as well. he was a more natural passer than Shaq and although his defense was never all that good, he was a significant threat as a shot-blocker. His rebounding, due to his limited lateral movement, was the one area where he does not compare well with the other greats at the position.

In this he reminds me of another tremendous talent - Bill Walton. But Walton played (and dominated) both ends of the court when healthy and he DID win two titles, which Yao never did. So I would tend to agree that induction as a player would be due to his nation of origin, not his accomplishments in the NBA. nd I think yao himself would protest if he was enrolled as a token Asian instead of as a worthy recipient. However, again as many other commenters have already mentioned, he doesn't have to go in as a player, and in fact probably should not, in my opinion. He should go in as a contributor. Like another great international player - one Arvydas Sabonis- Yao's influence on the international game was and remains tremendous. This is expecially true in Asia. I lived in Japan for a number of years and believe me, when Yao began to play in the NBA, he had a tremndous influence on the game in Japan. And of course, his effect on China has been simply phenomonal. Basketball has skyrocketed in popularity from where it was before Yao. And the Chinese leagues now offer far superior athletes and a deeper pool of talent due to Yao's effect on the youth in China.

Having said that, Yao is right that he should not be fast-tracked.  As a guy who has shown that he respects the traditions of the game, he understands that it would reflect poorly both on his accomplishments and on his country if they shoudd succeed in bullying the Hall committee to allow him to bypass the usual process. Like Mr. Golliver, I expect that he will be voted in at the first opportunity, and I would not be surprised to see him eleected as a player as well, though as I said, I think his accompishments do not really justify that particular honor. On the other hand, Dick Vitale got into the Hall without doing anything aside from being an annoying, loud-mouthed shill. So if Vitale is in the Hall, then certainly Yao should be there as well. But I think the best way to honor Yao's contributions are to vote him in as a contributor and in accordance with the usual process. And shame on China's bullies in Beijing for trying to cheapen that eventual honor.

Since: Feb 11, 2010
Posted on: September 1, 2011 12:22 am

Yao Ming: Hall of Fame nomination should wait

Yao Ming is the Chinese version of Manut Bol.  Granted Yao had way more ball skills, but his true "talent" was just being taller than everyone else... like Manut.  If this guy makes the hall of fame it's an NBA attempt to draw Chinese fans.  He was an all star like Derek Jeter and Ozzie Smith were perrenial all stars, when there were clearly better players at the position.

Since: Oct 23, 2006
Posted on: August 31, 2011 9:42 pm

Yao Ming: Hall of Fame nomination should wait

Lets get real..if Ming was not Oriental he would not even be getting a second look.   Mings stats are very average.  Should every newcomer from Brazil, or Italy get in?   Ming was a good..not great player, never ever a dominat player.

  Only great players deserve to be in the HOF.

Since: Aug 31, 2011
Posted on: August 31, 2011 5:58 pm

Yao Ming: Hall of Fame nomination should wait

i agree with HOF..... name another player like yao???
hes going in as contributor... not as a player.... u guys know yao right... people around the world know yao
but do people around the world know melvin turpin? jay edwards? john shaskey?  adonal foyle? jim jackson?? eric dampier? brendan hayward??? enough said..... and one of these guys made some starts on a championship team.... who was that?? 

yao deserves to be in the HOF for whatever reason they come up with... contributor or whatever....
its not like we tryiing to put luck walton in the HALL
lucky he got his daddy walton 

Since: Jan 21, 2008
Posted on: August 31, 2011 5:56 pm

Yao Ming: Hall of Fame nomination should wait

Have any of you guys read the article. They are not talking about putting him in the HOF as a player onle as a contributor. He made the NBA popular to the millions of fans in China and through out the world he is a great ambassador for the sport. If you don't think he has been great for the game who do you want as the face for NBA in China Lebron or one of the other Ghetto Thugs that have retired from the game. Players like Yao make it for the older fans to support the sport I played Basketball my whole life and have no respext for most of the thugs in todays game.

Since: May 24, 2009
Posted on: August 31, 2011 5:20 pm

Yao Ming: Hall of Fame nomination should wait


Since: Jun 22, 2009
Posted on: August 31, 2011 4:50 pm

Yao Ming: Hall of Fame nomination should wait

Did I miss something?  I must admit, I don't follow the NBA that closely.  Do they let 25-30% of players in the HOF?  If so, my bad.  Because that's what Yao is, a seemingly nice guy who was amongst the top 25-30% of centers when he played, NOT the top 2 or 3 centers in the game during his (very short) era.  But the news probably has Oliver Miller reinvigorated about his HOF chances.

Since: Aug 9, 2009
Posted on: August 31, 2011 4:23 pm

Yao Ming: Hall of Fame nomination should wait

Is Rick Smits in the HOF?

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