Allen Iverson Stands Tall in Newest Hall of Fame Class


From left, Shaquille O’Neal, Tom Izzo and Allen Iverson shared the stage at Monday’s Hall of Fame announcement in Houston.

Charlie Neibergall/Associated Press

Some big names, and big men, were announced as the newest members of the Basketball Hall of Fame on Monday.

Yao Ming, at 7-foot-6 one of the tallest players in N.B.A. history and the player who drove the popularity of the sport in China, was enshrined. So was 7-foot-1 Shaquille O’Neal, the colorful, quotable and dominant center who won four N.B.A. titles, in Los Angeles and Miami.

But for all the notoriety those two have earned over the years, the attention on Monday seemed to fall most heavily on a little guy, Allen Iverson, one of the league’s greatest players listed at 6 feet or under.

Iverson is remembered for almost single-handedly dragging an undermanned 76ers team to the N.B.A. finals in 2001, the season in which he won the Most Valuable Player Award. The Lakers were widely expected to sweep the series, but Iverson scored 48 points and pushed his team to an overtime victory in Game 1. O’Neal, Kobe Bryant & Co. won the next four games for the Lakers, but Iverson came out of the series with the plaudits.

A highlight that is destined to be repeated many more times is when the brash rookie Iverson schooled Michael Jordan with a crossover move in 1997.