Shaquille O`Neal, Allen Iverson and Yao Ming headline the 2016 class for enshrinement in the Basketball Hall of Fame, and the induction ceremony will be held on Friday night in Springfield, Mass.
Television coverage of the ceremony will be shown on NBA TV beginning at 7:30 p.m. ET, after the red carpet show at 6:30 p.m.
The class of 2016 includes O'Neal, Iverson, Ming, Zelmo Beaty, Darell Garretson, Tom Izzo, John McLendon, Cumberland Posey, Jerry Reinsdorf and Sheryl Swoopes.
O'Neal, the 15-time All-Star who won four NBA titles as well as NBA MVP honors in 2000, will be presented by fellow Hall of Famers Julius Erving, Bill Russell, Alonzo Mourning and Isiah Thomas.
"Shaq was a phenomenon," said O'Neal's TNT colleague Ernie Johnson on Thursday. "He came into the league with this ridiculous skill set of size, strength and agility combined with a magnetic personality and was simply a marvel to watch."
Iverson, the 2001 NBA MVP, was listed at 6'0 and 165 pounds. But despite his diminutive size he was a workhorse who averaged 41.1 minutes per game in his career, fourth all-time, and he ranks seventh in NBA history with 26.7 points per game, leading the league in scoring average four times. Iverson will be presented by former coaches Larry Brown and John Thompson, and former Philadelphia 76ers great Erving.
Yao was an eight-time All-Star with the Houston Rockets, a former No. 1 overall pick who is the best NBA player ever from China. His career was cut short at age 30 by foot injuries, but Yao averaged 19 points and 9.2 rebounds in his NBA career. At 7'6 he will be the tallest player in the Hall of Fame, and he'll be introduced by Dikembe Mutombo, Russell and Bill Walton.
"When walking in this Hall, for the first time, I feel I'm so small," Yao told Jonathan Feigen of the Houston Chronicle. "I don't know if Shaq agrees with that. I feel so small when I look to the rooftop (at) all the pictures around here. I see my picture up there. With all those pictures up there, I can't stop myself to think how small I am."
Swoopes was the first player signed by the WNBA and won three league MVP awards, four WNBA championships and two scoring titles with the Houston Comets. She will be presented by former coach Van Chancellor and Nancy Lieberman.
Izzo is about to begin his 22nd season as the head coach at Michigan State, where he has won 524 games, reached seven Final Fours and won an NCAA championship in 2000. He will be presented by former coaching adversary Gary Williams.
Reinsdorf has been the owner of the Chicago Bulls since 1985, and will be presented on Friday by Phil Jackson and Scottie Pippen.
The rest of the inductees are all posthumous -- Darell Garretson, an NBA referee for 27 seasons; Zelmo Beaty, a two-time NBA All-Star and three-time ABA All-Star; John McLendon, the first African-American to coach a professional basketball team, at the helm of the Cleveland Pipers of the ABL in 1961-62; and Cumberland Posey, who won four straight Colored Basketball World Championships from 1920-1923.
Posey, who also played for the Homestead Grays in the Negro Leagues, was inducted into the National Baseball Hall of Fame in 2006.
In addition to the inductees, a pair of media members will be honored Friday with the Curt Gowdy Media Award -- David Aldridge, with over two decades of NBA coverage both as a writer and on television; and Jay Bilas, a college basketball analyst at ESPN since 1995.
The NBA TV coverage starts at 6:30 p.m. with the red carpet show, anchored by Matt Winer alongside Steve Smith and Rick Kamla. The ceremony starts at 7:30 p.m. Everything will be streamed online via NBA.com.
Hall of Fame ceremony info
Location: Basketball Hall of Fame, Springfield, Mass.
Time: 6:30 p.m. ET (ceremony starts at 7:30 p.m.)
TV: NBA TV
Online streaming: NBA.com