Sixers Legend Allen Iverson Gives Emotional Speech, Heads Into Hall Of Fame

SPRINGFIELD, Mass. (AP) — Allen Iverson and Shaquille O’Neal tried to let their play define their stature on the basketball court.

The former NBA MVPs headlined the 10-member Class of 2016 that was enshrined into the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame on Friday night. One of the most star-packed classes, it also featured international star Yao Ming, WNBA great Sheryl Swoopes, coach Tom Izzo, and owner Jerry Reinsdorf.

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Fighting tears throughout his extended speech, Iverson thanked former Georgetown coach John Thompson “for saving my life.”

O’Neal is set to be inducted later in the night.

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Posthumous honorees were: 27-year NBA referee Darell Garretson; John McLendon, the first African-American coach in a professional league; Zelmo Beaty, who led Prairie View to an NAIA title in 1962 and starred in the NBA and ABA; and Cumberland Posey, who is also a member of the Baseball Hall of Fame.

Copyright 2016 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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