08/31/2011 - 6:25pm
Yao Ming's agent has asked the Naismith Basketball Hall of Fame to set aside the former All-Star center's nomination for a later year.
Yao, who retired in July, was nominated by a member of the Chinese media as a contributor to the game, and would have been eligible for induction as early as 2012. But Hall of Fame president and CEO John Doleva said Yao's agent, John Huizinga, called Wednesday morning to request that Yao's nomination be tabled for now.
KRIV-TV first reported the request. Huizinga did not immediately return a phone message.
Doleva said Huizinga told him that Yao believes it's too soon for him to be placed on the ballot.
"He (Huizinga) 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."
This pretty much states why he would get consideration. I feel as though he could make it as a contributor because of all the fan support he brought from Asia to the NBA.
John Doleva, the president and CEO of the Hall, said Tuesday that Yao has been nominated by a member of the Chinese media and his credentials will be considered by an international panel. As a contributor, Yao would bypass the usual five-year waiting period for retired players.
AP Photo/Eugene HoshikoYao Ming and his family could have reason to gather in Springfield as soon as next year if the retired center is enshrined as a contributor.
The 7-foot-6 Yao retired in July after leg and foot injuries ended his eight-year NBA career. The eight-time All-Star averaged 19 points and 9.2 rebounds in the NBA.
He'll also be remembered for his global impact on the league, almost single-handedly expanding its reach throughout Asia.
Doleva said a panel of seven "experts on the international game" will consider Yao's credentials, and six of the seven will have to approve Yao's election. The panel is only allowed to select one individual, and Doleva said Yao will be facing about 12-15 other candidates for induction next year.
The deadline for nominations is Nov. 1. Doleva says a member of the Chinese media contacted him to ask about the categories available for individuals, and submitted a formal application this week on Yao's behalf.
"It has to go through the process," Doleva said. "There is no guarantee when someone is nominated that they will be elected in their first year. That's kind of what makes the process work. The committee takes a look at the pros and cons."
Yao can certainly make a compelling argument.
His charisma and popularity helped spike merchandise sales and prompted record TV ratings for games after the Rockets made him the top overall pick in the 2002 draft. NBA commissioner David Stern called Yao "a transformational player and a testament to the globalization of our game."
Yao also donated $2 million to set up a foundation to rebuild schools destroyed by the earthquake in Sichuan province in May 2008. He carried the Olympic torch through Tiananmen Square and his country's flag during the opening ceremonies at the 2008 Beijing Olympics.
Former Rockets coach Jeff Van Gundy, now an ESPN analyst, said Yao deserves Hall of Fame consideration, not just for his statistics, but for his unprecedented impact on the game. Van Gundy coached Yao from 2003-07.
"He's been one of the greatest ambassadors to ever set foot on an NBA floor," Van Gundy said. "This guy touched so many people, and really opened doors in China, not only for himself, but for so many others."
Doleva said Yao could make more history if he's inducted as both a contributor and as a player. He'll first be eligible as a player with the class of 2017.
"There are examples of people who have been elected as players, and then elected as coaches," Doleva said. "But there has never been anyone elected as a contributor, and then elected as a player or a coach. That's not to say it can't be done, there are no rules against it. But it would be the first time."
No...he was injured all the time and not even that great of a player. Just because he is tall and Chinese doesn't make him a hall of famer.
I don't mean to sound like a hater I'm just telling the truth.
JordanC20..You should be ashame for even Saying something as Ignorant as the reason people say Yao should be a Hall of Famer becuz he's Tall and Chinese!!!
Yao was a Top 10 Player until injuries hit him his last 2 years in the league...He's going to the Hall,maybe not on the 1st Ballot,but he's Gettin IN...
yao deserves it man and jordanc20 u have no idea what ur talking about... so stop...
just read what rudeboy said and it basically wraps up what i wanted to say
If Yao is going to the hall of fame Sam Bowie ought to be in there too.
You can make a case for Yao in the Hall of Fame as a player. Averaged almost 20-10 for his career, which is something few players can claim.
But as the article said, he can also be inducted because of his contributions to the sport of basketball in China, where it became much more popular because of him. The same argument can be made to induct Dikembe Mutombo, who to me should be a hall of famer, not only for his accomplishments as a player but also for his work in Africa.
"Just because he is tall and Chinese doesn't make him a hall of famer."
I believe being Chinese and tall does make him a Hall of Famer
"If Yao is going to the hall of fame Sam Bowie ought to be in there too."
Are you serious? Bowie played in just six seasons where he played more than 62 games, and in those seasons he averaged 10 and 8, 14 and 10, 13 and 8, 15 and 8, 9 and 7, and 4 and 4. All this playing round about 30 minutes a game. All of these are OK numbers but a joke for the Hall.
Now for why Yao is in a whole different class than Bowie, he got 14 and 8, 18 and 9, and 18 and 8, playing all 82 games each of his first three seasons. His second and third year are by far better than any season Bowie EVER had. Now the injuries to start to pile up for Yao, but still playing 48, 55, and 57 games each of the next three seasons, he put up 22 and 10, 25 and 9, and 22 and 11. He was clearly a dominating force, even though being hindered by injuries. If he wasn't injury prone, I could confidently say he would be the best Offensive center for around a 5 year span, and it would be a legitamite debate between himself and Dwight. I think we could have had a legendary 28 and 12 season coming, wheas with Bowie, the most we might have seen is maybe 18 and 9 for a season or two, and that's it. Plus Yao stayed healthy for one last year, and put up 20 and 10, before he got hurt in that year's playoffs. And if you look at defensive win shares, you can clearly see that Yao was much, much better of D than Bowie, which is why Bowie is probably on the border for the 100 greatest centers of all time, and Yao on the border for the Hall of Fame. Here are the links to basketball reference, cause it seems like you know nothing about basketball, Jordan. And remember, Yao might get in the same way bill Walton did, but if you put him in as a contributor, than it would make it harder to put him in as a player.
It seems like you dont know anything about yao except him being a chinese and tall, yao can dominate can score inside and has great range for a bigman but unfortunately he career was shorten by injuries. He also made nba reach china. If yao is 100%, people will be having argument about him and dwight on being the best center in the nba.
He should go in as a player but everyone will know that his accomplishments were a little light just on the playing side. When you add in the global accomplishments, the contributor aspects, he becomes a lock.
Somepeople compare Yao to Walton and I think that is fair. When either of those guys were healthy they were one of the top guys in their sport playing at the time (Walton was actually more dominant than Yao, but he only had about three healthy NBA seasons and even during those he was already starting to break down). Walton was, of course, a lock for the Hall of Fame because of his college career. Yao has international game accomplishments, but a lot of them were against weak Asian teams and is not that well regarded.