Kurt Helin

Shaq helps Yao Ming put on his Hall of Fame jacket, dusts him off

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When you’re 7’6″, not a lot of people can help you put a jacket on.

Fortunately for Yao Ming, as he slid into his orange Hall of Fame jacket Thursday, he has a nearly as tall Shaquille O’Neal to help out — and dust him off a little. And yes, the jackets are a new touch this year.

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With the big kid that is Shaq involved, this is going to be an entertaining Hall of Fame weekend

Add Larry Brown to list of guys who doesn’t like Kevin Durant joining Warriors

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I can literally picture Larry Brown in a white undershirt leaning out his front door telling a bunch of kids to get off his lawn. (And I’m using literally correctly.)

It also doesn’t surprise me in the least that the decidedly old-school Brown doesn’t like Kevin Durant‘s decision to join the Warriors. Here is what Brown said during an interview on SiriusXM NBA Radio.

“I’m not really excited about the fact that the best players are teaming up together,” said Brown. “I don’t think Michael (Jordan) would have done it or Larry Bird or Bill Russell or Magic. I don’t think those guys would have done it. I’m not real comfortable with the league going in that direction.”

I’m weary of this discussion.

Obviously, as a free agent who spent nine seasons in Oklahoma City, Durant had the right to choose his place of employment, and he chose the working environment he felt was best for him. If anyone should understand the desire to change jobs to find a better situation, you would think it would be Brown.

The Jordan comparison is silly — as is the one with Larry Bird or Magic Johnson or Bill Russell — because they were already on superteams loaded with the league’s top talent. The simple difference is those teams were put together by white guys in suits, and somehow it’s fair when they have the power. However, when players use their power to band together, it is seen as taking the easy way out and some kind of threat to the system.

Whatever. I’m more curious to see if the Durant, Stephen Curry and the rest of the Warriors can live up to the hype. That’s far more interesting than this continued debate.

Pacers officially sign forward Kevin Seraphin, guard Nick Zeisloft

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INDIANAPOLIS (AP) — The Indiana Pacers have signed veteran free agent forward/center Kevin Seraphin to a guaranteed contract and rookie guard Nick Zeisloft to a partially-guaranteed one giving him a chance to make the team.

The 6-10 Seraphin was the 17th overall pick by the Chicago Bulls in the 2010 draft. Born in French Guiana, Seraphin was traded to Washington in July 2010, and played with the Wizards for five seasons before playing with the New York Knicks last season. He has career averages of 6.1 points and 3.5 rebounds per game.

The 6-4 Zeisloft played last season at Indiana University where he averaged 6.5 points and 1.6 rebounds per game

Terms were not disclosed by the team in Thursday’s announcement.

Allen Iverson enters Hall of Fame wishing he had listened more to Larry Brown

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They were two hard-headed figures who viewed the world and basketball differently — they were destined to clash.

Larry Brown was an old-school, at times hard-headed, “play the right way” kind of guy that turned off a lot of players (the mass defections from the 2004 US Olympic team had a lot to do with guys hating on Brown’s style). Allen Iverson was hip-hop incarnate on the basketball court, free-wheeling and exciting, unpredictable, and a man who liked to play without restrictions.

Iverson and Brown did clash — then went on to spearhead some of the best teams in Sixers history.

On the eve of Iverson entering the Hall of Fame, where he will be presented by Brown, Iverson regrets those clashes and his attitude, he told Jessica Cammerato of CSNPhilly.com.

“I wish I would have bought in to what [Brown] was trying to give me all along (instead of) just being defiant. Being a certified ass—- for nothing. When all he wanted was the best for me,” Iverson said in April.

“And I didn’t take constructive criticism the way I should have. You know what I mean? To me, in my eyes, he’s the best coach ever. To me. You know what I mean? And I didn’t take what God was giving me the right way. God sent him to me, and I was defiant at that time.”

Brown looks back at the relationship and sees the greatness.

“It’s always very difficult when you coach a great, great, talented kid because you want to make sure that you allow them to play as well as they’re capable of playing. When I first had the opportunity to coach Allen, his idea of how to play and my idea how he should play was a little different. But I think we evolved into a pretty special relationship.

“I think the six years I was with him, there wasn’t one night he didn’t do something that I’d never seen done before. He was probably the most athletic player I’ve been around and as competitive as anybody I’ve been around.”

This is a Hall of Fame class loaded with the ultra-deserving.

And in that group, I’m happier for nobody more — and looking forward to the speech of nobody else more — than AI.

Check out Yao Ming’s career highlights (VIDEO)

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There has been a little pushback this week from people suggesting Yao Ming doesn’t have the credentials to be in the Hall of Fame.

Those people are wrong.

Putting aside his global impact on the game — maybe only Michael Jordan did more to spread the NBA overseas — Yao Ming the player was incredible. For a guy 7’6″ he had a very soft touch on his shots, he had a midrange game (and knocked down his free throws), he was an incredible passer with a high IQ, and he was a fantastic rim protector. He was one of the best players in the NBA in his era in the NBA, a five-time All-NBA player, and eight-time All-Star. Go read Kelly Dwyer’s great piece on this at Ball Don’t Lie.

I’ll put it this way: Someday there should be an NBA-only Hall of Fame, and Yao Ming should be in that, too.

Check out his career greatest hits tape, via the folks at NBA.com.