An expected major change in the Hall of Fame election process could result in Shaquille O'Neal, Allen Iverson and Yao Ming being enshrined in 2016, NBA.com reported.
According to the report, which cited unidentified people with knowledge of the plans, the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame has finalized an adjustment that shortens the wait time from five seasons in retirement to four before a player can be nominated. The official announcement is expected this week.
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Under the new plan, voting and potential enshrinement would come after five calendar years, rather than five NBA seasons, thereby avoiding what becomes a sixth year by the time voting is completed near the end of the NBA regular season.
The immediate impact is that not only will O'Neal and Yao, among others, be eligible to be nominated for the Class of 2016, joining Iverson from the previous timeline, but also holdover nominees such as Tim Hardaway, Kevin Johnson and Chris Webber now face a tougher road to election than they would've faced had Iverson been the only new nominee with strong potential to be elected.
According to NBA.com, the previous calendar benchmarks will remain. The 2016 class of former NBA players will be announced April 4, the[......]