After months of speculation, the inductees for the 2016 Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame were finally announced on Tuesday, April 4. NBA icons Shaquille O’Neal and Allen Iverson lead the 10-member class of 2016.

Joining O’Neal and Iverson in the exclusive club will be Michigan State coach Tom Izzo, Yao Ming, Sheryl Swoopes and Jerry Reinsdorf. Longtime NBA referee Darrell Garretson, coach John McLendon and former stars Zelmo Beaty and Cumberland Posey will be enshrined posthumously.

O’Neal, who also goes by the nickname Superman or Diesel, will forever be remembered as one of the game’s most dominant centers. After a few successful seasons at Louisiana State University, O’Neal decided to enter the 1992 NBA draft, where he was selected as the first overall pick by the Orlando Magic.

In O’Neal’s first season in Orlando, he won the Rookie of the Year Award. He would go on to lead the team to its first NBA Finals in 1995 before leaving the sunshine state to join the Los Angeles Lakers where he won three consecutive championships. The seven-footer played with a total of six teams, winning a total of four championships with the Lakers and Miami Heat.

By the end of his illustrious career, O’Neal was a 15 time NBA All-Star, winning three NBA Finals MVP Awards. He was also selected to be a part of the All-NBA First Team for eight seasons. O’Neal currently ranks seventh all-time in points scored, third all-time in field goal percentage and seventh in blocks.

Allen Iverson will go down in NBA history as one of the most iconic, but controversial players. Iverson enjoyed two great seasons at Georgetown, winning Big East Defensive Player of the Year awards in each season. The Philadelphia Sixers selected Iverson as the first overall pick in the 1996 NBA Draft and the rest is history.

In his time with the Sixers, Iverson was named Rookie of the Year and won the scoring title in four separate seasons. At just six feet tall, Iverson was one of the NBA’s most prolific scorers. His playoff career scoring, an average of 29.7 points per game, is second only to the great Michael Jordan. In 2001, the 11 time all-star was named the league’s MVP as he led his team to a Finals matchup against Shaquille O’Neal’s Lakers, but failed to win as he would struggle to reach the Finals ever again.

At the time of his NBA debut, Yao Ming was just the third Chinese player in league history. The Houston Rockets selected Ming as the number one overall pick in the 2002 NBA Draft. Ming’s impact wasn’t just on the basketball court, but around the world as he bridged a path for the NBA to China.

Due to several injuries, Ming was forced to retire early after the 2011 season, but enjoyed much success before that. During his time with the Rockets, Ming was an eight time all-star and currently ranks sixth among franchise leaders in total points and total rebounds and second in total blocks.

Tom Izzo has been the one constant leader at Michigan State University as the head coach of the Spartans’ men’s basketball team. Since 1995, Izzo has been successful as a collegiate coach reaching seven Final Fours and earning 524 career victories. Izzo reached the ultimate goal when he guided the Spartans to a national championship in 2000.

When you hear the name Sheryl Swoopes, you immediately associate her as one of Women’s National Basketball Association’s all-time greats. Swoopes first burst onto the scene when she dropped 47 points to lead Texas Tech to the 1993 National Collegiate Athletic Association. Swoopes was the first player to be signed to the WNBA when it was first created back in 1996. She would go on to enjoy much success in the WNBA as she finished her 14-year career winning four championships and three WNBA MVP Awards with the Houston Comets.

Since his time as owner of the Chicago Bulls, starting in 1985, Jerry Reinsdorf has turned the franchise into a consistent winner. The Bulls teams from the 90s will be considered as one of the best of all-time, winning six championships in that span, as they included players such as Michael Jordan, Scottie Pippen and Dennis Rodman.

Darrell Garretson was an NBA referee for 27 years, but died in 2008, and will also be joining the Hall of Fame. Garretson also served 17 years as the league’s chief of officiating. He officiated 1,798 regular season games, 269 playoff games and 41 Finals games.

John McLendon died in 1999, but will be remembered as the first African-American coach in a professional league when he directed the American Basketball League’s Cleveland Pipers. Zelmo Beaty, who played 12 seasons (8 in NBA, 4 in ABA) averaged 17 points and 11 rebounds per game and will also join the club. Last, but not least is Cumberland Posey, who was known as the best African-American basketball player of his time, ranging from the early 1900s through the mid 1920s.

All of the inductees of this year’s class have made a significant difference to the game of basketball. After years of hard work and great success, players like Iverson and O’Neal finally have earned their coveted spots in the Hall of Fame. The enshrinement ceremony will take place on September 9 in Springfield, Mass.

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