According to Mark Berman at Fox 26 Houston, the Houston Rockets have nominated eight-time NBA all-star Yao Ming for the Naismith Basketball Hall of Fame. The announcement comes a week after rumors spread of the NBA reducing the time retired players have to wait to become eligible from five years to four years.
Berman reports a source close to the Naismith Basketball Hall of Fame has confirmed the Rockets bid for Yao HoF 2016.
It’s a shock. I’m pretty nervous and excited too. It feels almost like being drafted again by the Rockets. I have no words to explain how special it is. All I can think of is the memories I had during the Rockets time, with my team, with my teammates and the coaches and the fans. It is not easy to find a home away from home like the Rockets, like Houston. This all because the management, the ownership built a place like that and I’m very thankful. – Yao Ming
With the expected eligibility rule change from the NBA, the 2016 Hall of Fame class goes from a sub-par list to an absolute mega class. If the NBA didn’t change the rules, Allen Iverson, Michael Finley, Chris Webber, and Stephon Marbury would all be front runners. But now, Shaquille O’Neal, Yao, Iverson, and Jason Williams are at the top of the list.
NBA 2016 Hall of Fame weekend is scheduled to begin on September 8th, 2016, in Springfield, Massachusetts.