Aug 8, 2011, 5:45 PM EDT
With his recent retirement, the waiting period officially is under way for Yao Ming.
According to enshrinement guidelines for the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame, “A player must be fully retired for five years before being eligible for Enshrinement. He/she may then be considered for Enshrinement in the sixth year of retirement.”
Because the Rockets center appeared in five games this past season, that would have him eligible in 2017.
Or perhaps as soon as next year.
No, there will be no special exception when it comes to the required waiting period to be enshrined as a player.
However, there is no such waiting period when it comes to enshrining a “contributor.” And that could create the need for a Beijing-Springfield non-stop as soon as next summer.
John Doleva, the president and CEO of the Hall, took over from here in a Monday conversation, relating a recent conversation with a China-based reporter.
“We got into the conversation about Yao as a contributor, because of what he did to bring the global viewpoint, especially China, into the basketball family and really kind of a lot of other ways really kick-started basketball in China,” Doleva said. “If you’re a contributor, you can be nominated at any time. So that means there’s no waiting period.
“And what was determined by this individual is they actually were going to put together a group in China to nominate Yao as a contributor, so he would be eligible as early as next year.”
Such a move, however, could only come with Yao’s approval.
Doleva said he told the reporter, “You may want to check with Mr. Yao, because he may have a different feeling. And I think they’re still doing that.”
According to Hall bylaws, “A person is eligible for Enshrinement as a contributor at any time for significant contributions to the game of basketball. What constitutes a ‘significant contribution’ shall be determined by the BHOF, its Screening Committee(s) or Honors Committee(s).”
Because of his brief NBA career, Yao currently stands as a borderline candidate for induction as a player. While some also would point to his five seasons with the Shanghai Sharks of the Chinese Basketball Association, the counter would be the collegiate careers of most domestic NBA candidates.
Yet should Yao enter as a contributor, it might make it easier to bypass the 7-foot-5 center when it comes to his eligibility as a player.
Then again, what Yao accomplished simply through his journey might just get him through both doors.
“At the end of the day,” Doleva said, “what they’re really voting on, is, ‘Is the accomplishments of this candidate worthy of Enshrinement into the Basketball Hall of Fame.’ ”
Aug 28, 2015, 1:00 PM EDT
Ballmer may just be ahead of the curve on this.
Aug 28, 2015, 12:00 PM EDT
He did his damage in just 25 minutes.
Aug 28, 2015, 11:21 AM EDT
Spoiler: Thomas’ team won.
Aug 28, 2015, 10:30 AM EDT
The Lakers co-owner isn’t closing the door.
Aug 28, 2015, 9:44 AM EDT
Get excited, Magic fans.
Aug 28, 2015, 9:10 AM EDT
No deal is in place as of now.
Aug 28, 2015, 8:34 AM EDT
He calls DeMarcus Cousins his “brother.”
Aug 28, 2015, 8:00 AM EDT
Did Mychal raise a cheater? I don’t think so.
Aug 27, 2015, 11:59 PM EDT
Henderson has played in Iraq and Qatar since going undrafted.
Aug 27, 2015, 11:15 PM EDT
Howard last played in the NBA in 2012.
Aug 27, 2015, 10:30 PM EDT
This is scary for the rest of the league if it’s true.
Aug 27, 2015, 9:45 PM EDT
Westbrook and Nina Earl have been together since college.
Aug 27, 2015, 9:00 PM EDT
Rose’s first public comments since the civil suit.
Aug 27, 2015, 8:15 PM EDT
They’re pretty sweet.
Aug 27, 2015, 7:30 PM EDT
Sultan Kosem of Turkey is 8-foot-3.
Aug 27, 2015, 6:45 PM EDT
As an NBA League Pass junkie I’ll tell you why I’m happy — she’s good.
Aug 27, 2015, 5:51 PM EDT
If you’re keeping score at home, there are two shattered backboards on the list.
Aug 27, 2015, 5:06 PM EDT
The Cavaliers need to be patient with him.
Aug 27, 2015, 4:25 PM EDT
Chocolate Thunder remained an ambassador of the game.
Aug 27, 2015, 3:31 PM EDT
He probably will land on a roster somewhere. Eventually.
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