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Basketball Hall of Fame inductee Allen Iverson speaks during induction ceremonies at Symphony Hall, Friday, Sept. 9, 2016, in Springfield, Mass. (AP Photo/Elise Amendola)

Allen Iverson, Shaquille O’Neal bring down house at Hall of Fame

AP Photo/Elise Amendola

It was a great night in Springfield as the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame Class of 2016 was enshrined alongside all the other luminaries in the hall. Yao Ming tipped off the night of speeches with a nod to Allen Iverson’s “practice” rant before delivering a strong speech. Jerry Reinsdorf, Tom Izzo and Sheryl Swoopes all did their thing as well, but the night truly belonged to Iverson and Shaquille O’Neal.

Iverson had to hold back tears from the very beginning, and he went on to give a lengthy, heartfelt speech in which he thanked a wide range of people, from friends to family to teammates (quite possibly every single one) to opponents to fans to musicians. He thanked former Georgetown coach John Thompson for “saving my life.” He made a Chappelle’s Show reference when talking about playing against Michael Jordan for the first time. He even thanked Tyronn Lue!

AI just kept going and going and going…and it was awesome:

Iverson ended his speech this way:

Here’s the full speech:


Then there was Shaq. There were serious moments, but Shaq had plenty of jokes and a few good digs in there as well. He ribbed Nick Anderson for missing crucial free throws with the Orlando Magic in the NBA Finals. And of course, there was a lighthearted shot at Kobe:

Shaq also had good stuff on fellow inductees Yao:

And Iverson:

Here’s Shaq’s full speech:


A great capper to a great night.

Allen Iverson, Shaquille O’Neal bring down house at Hall of Fame

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