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Yao Ming says to put his Hall of Fame nod on hold

Former NBA player Yao attends a business event in Shanghai

Former NBA player Yao Ming attends a business event in Shanghai August 16, 2011. REUTERS/Aly Song (CHINA - Tags: SPORT BASKETBALL BUSINESS)


Eventually, Yao Ming will be welcomed into the basketball Hall of Fame.

If you just rolled your eyes, remember this is not just an NBA Hall of Fame. (We need one of those, but that is a separate issue.) What Yao did to bridge the NBA with China and help the sport grow in the largest nation in the world earns him a pass. (Plus, he was a really great center when healthy.)

But don’t give him that pass just yet.

After he retired this summer there was talk of putting him in the Hall as part of next year’s class, skipping the five years out of the game requirement for most players.

But Yao doesn’t want that and his agent has asked the Hall to put any nomination off for a year.

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

Class. If nothing else, Yao was always classy. That has not changed with his retirement.