It took about two minutes for Yao Ming to get in the night’s first “practice” joke at Allen Iverson’s expense. Yao kicked off Friday’s Naismith Hall of Fame induction ceremonies with a short (at least compared to Iverson’s) speech, and early on, he quipped that Iverson should have gone first because “I need more practice than him.” Iverson was amused.
Later on, Yao got off a Shaquille O’Neal free-throw joke as well. His speech wasn’t as widely anticipated as Shaq or Iverson, but it’s worth watching. He was funny, warm, reflective and genuine, and reminded us how much the NBA has missed his personality since injuries forced him to retire in 2011 at just 30 years old.
You can watch his full speech above.