September 26, 2020

Yao asks that Hall nomination be put on hold

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Houston Rockets' Yao Ming, left, of China shoots the ball over Denver Nuggets' Nene (31) of Brazil.

HOUSTON (AP) — Yao Ming’s agent has asked the Naismith Basketball Hall of Fame to set aside the former All-Star center’s nomination for a later year.

Yao, who retired in July, was nominated by a member of the Chinese media as a contributor to the game, and would’ve been eligible for induction as early as 2012. But Hall of Fame president and CEO John Doleva said Yao’s agent, John Huizinga, called Wednesday morning to request that Yao’s nomination be tabled for now.

KRIV-TV first reported the request. Huizinga did not immediately return a phone message.

Doleva said Huizinga told him that Yao feels it’s too soon for him to be placed on the ballot.

“He (Huizinga) indicated that Yao has great respect for the institution and equal respect for those elected before his consideration,” Doleva said in a phone interview. “He just feels that it’s too soon to be considered as a contributor.”

An eight-time All-Star with the Houston Rockets, Yao’s career was cut short by foot and leg injuries. Yao would be eligible to enter the Hall of Fame as a player in 2017 — five full seasons after his retirement.

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