World / Stars

Triple serving of greatness

By Associated Press In Houston (China Daily) Updated: 2016-04-06 08:14

Magic man

O'Neal, the top overall pick in the 1992 draft by the Orlando Magic, was the NBA MVP in 2000, a three-time NBA Finals MVP and 15-time All-Star. When he was introduced on Monday at the media event, the jokester scolded the announcer for not mentioning his work in the 1996 movie Kazaam, in which he played a genie.

The man who has a plethora of nicknames was asked if he hopes to get a new one when he is inducted into the hall in September.

"No, just Hall of Famer," he said.

O'Neal had a simple mindset when he entered the NBA, one that he got from his love of karate movies.

"In all your karate movies, you've got the young karate warrior and he goes all these places and he sees all these masters and he has to take them out," O'Neal said.

"So I was gunning for everybody. I was gunning for all the superstars, I was gunning for all the big guys, because I wanted their spot."

Rocket fuel

Yao, the top overall pick in 2002 by the Houston Rockets, was an eight-time All-Star. He did not attend the event because he was in Shanghai.

Swoopes helped Texas Tech to a national title, won four WNBA titles with the Houston Comets, was a three-time WNBA MVP and won three Olympic gold medals.

She grew up in rural Texas and hopes her election can be an inspiration to children from small towns everywhere.

"For me to be sitting here today as a Hall of Famer, I hope that all those kids out there that have ever doubted things like this can happen to you, I'm a living example and living proof that if you trust in God and you work hard and believe in yourself and you surround yourself with the right people, anything can happen," she said.

Izzo, Michigan's State coach, won a national title in 2000 and has taken the Spartans to the Final Four seven times.

"This is the biggest thrill of my life," Izzo said. "I needed a lot of other guys to help me get here."

Reinsdorf has been the owner of the Chicago Bulls and White Sox for more than two decades.

"An award like this has to be the most important accomplishment you can have," he said. "The fact is, I'm here because of what a lot of other people did."

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