Yao Ming being considered for Hall of Fame through international committee

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Shaquille O’Neal, Allen Iverson and Yao Ming are on the Basketball Hall of Fame ballot a year sooner than initially expected.

But Yao faces an easier path to enshrinement.

Despite spending a majority of his career in the NBA, Yao was nominated through the international committee, which can directly induct him. He’ll be judged against players like Vlade Divac and Toni Kukoc – hardly the bar set with the North American committee.

Shaq and Iverson are trying to enter the Hall through the North American committee, which names finalists. Then, another committee chooses among the finalists. Shaq and Iverson – whose career accomplishments easily top Yao’s – should clear that two-step process.

But Yao would have had a tougher time. Luckily for him, he won’t have to deal with that.

This exemplifies my problem with the Hall. It values diversifying the backgrounds of its members rather emphasizing their accomplishments. Why should Yao’s playing career face less scrutiny because he’s from China than Shaq’s and Iverson’s? They all spent the relevant portions of their careers in the NBA.

Similarly, too many players are enshrined for excelling at lower levels. The numerous paths to the Hall leave the NBA undervalued.

At least Yao proved himself a quality NBA player.

If only that’s how he were being judged.

Here’s a full list of nominations:

Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame Class of 2016 Ballot

* Indicates First-Time Nominee

North American Committee Nominations

Mark Aguirre (PLA)

Geese Ausbie (PLA)*

Bill Bertka (COA)

Junior Bridgeman* (PLA)

Irv Brown (REF)

Maurice Cheeks (PLA)

Terry Cummings (PLA)

Lefty Driesell (COA)

Hugh Evans (REF)*

Bill Fitch (COA)

Cotton Fitzsimmons (COA)

Darell Garretson (REF)*

A.C. Green (PLA)

Tim Hardaway (PLA)

Del Harris (COA)

Robert Hughes (COA)

Allen Iverson (PLA)*

Tom Izzo (COA)*

Kevin Johnson (PLA)

Marques Johnson (PLA)

Bobby Jones (PLA)*

Jerry “Tiger” Jones (COA)*

Gene Keady (COA)

Rollie Massimino (COA)

George McGinnis (PLA)

Gary McKnight (COA)*

John McLendon (COA)*

Danny Miles (COA)

Sidney Moncrief (PLA)

Dick Motta (COA)

Swen Nater (PLA)

Shaquille O’Neal (PLA)*

Mark Price (PLA)

Glenn Robinson (COA)

Lee Rose (COA)

Bo Ryan (COA)

Jack Sikma (PLA)

Steve Smith (COA)*

Fred Snowden (COA)

Eddie Sutton (COA)

Reggie Theus (PLA)

Rudy Tomjanovich (COA)

Chris Webber (PLA)

Paul Westphal (PLA)

Women’s Committee Nominations

Leta Andrews (COA)

Jennifer Azzi (PLA)

Rebecca Lobo (PLA)

Muffet McGraw (COA)

Susie McConnell (PLA)

Pearl Moore (PLA)*

Kim Mulkey (COA & PLA)

Harley Redin (COA)

Theresa Shank (PLA)

Marianne Stanley (COA)

Barbara Stevens (COA)

Sheryl Swoopes (PLA)*

Wayland Baptist (TEA)*

Theresa Weatherspoon (PLA)

DIRECT-ELECT CATEGORY

Early African-American Pioneers Committee Nominations

Clarence “Puggy” Bell

Sonny Boswell

Zack Clayton

Chuck Cooper

Bill Garrett

Inman Jackson

Clarence “Fats” Jenkins

Bucky Lew

Dave Minor

Hudson Oliver

Cumberland Posey Jr.

Al “Runt” Pullins

James “Pappy” Ricks

Paul Robeson

Eyre Saitch

William “Wee Willie” Smith

DIRECT-ELECT CATEGORY

International Committee Nominations

Tal Brody

Jackie Chazalon

Vlade Divac

Nick Galis

Semen Khalipski

Vladimir Kondrashin

Toni Kukoc

Yao Ming*

Aldo Ossola

Amaury Pasos

Dino Radja

Manuel Sainz

Togo Soares

Ranko Zeravica

Marcos Leite

DIRECT-ELECT CATEGORY

Contributor Committee Nominations

Marv Albert*

Al Attles

Dick Baumgartner*

Marty Blake

Vic Bubas

Wayne Duke*

Harry Glickman

Marty Glickman

Curt Gowdy

Tim Grgurich

Mannie Jackson

Tom Jernstedt

Johnny “Red” Kerr

John Kline

Red Klotz

Jerry Krause

Jack McCloskey

Johnny Most

Dennis Murphy

Joe O’Toole

Billy Packer

Jerry Reinsdorf

Zelda Spoelstra

Jim Valvano

Donnie Walsh

Frank Walsh

DIRECT-ELECT CATEGORY

Veterans Committee Nominations

1936 US Olympic Team*

1964 State Dept Basketball Ambassadors

Zelmo Beaty

Ron Boone

Sid Borgia

Carl Braun

Frank Brian

Joe Caldwell

Mack Calvin

Charles Eckman

Leroy Edwards

Leo Ferris*

Clarence “Bevo” Francis

Buck Freeman

Donnie Freeman

Travis Grant

Bob Grody

Joe Hammond

Robert Harrison

Flo Harvey

Cam Henderson

Robert Hopkins

Lou Hudson

Warren Jabali

Jimmy Jones

Freddie Lewis

Jim Loscutoff

Loyola of Chicago

George McGinnis

Ray Mears

Donald Moore*

Willie Naulls

John O’Brien

Philadelphia SPHAS

Mel Riebe

Glenn Roberts

Holcombe Rucker

Kenny Sailors

Fred Schaus

Charlie Scott

Kenny Sears

Frank Selvy

George Senesky

Paul Seymour

Charles Siler

Talvin Skinner

Ken Suesens

Tennessee A&I

Dick Van Arsdale*

Tom Van Arsdale*

Willie Wise

Max Zaslofsky