Yao Ming just delivered a great speech to open up the night at the Basketball Hall of Fame in Springfield, Mass. He set it off with a joke about Allen Iverson and practice that had the crowd roaring with laughter. From there Yao got very comfortable at the podium and you could feel how sincere he was with the words he spoke.


Yao was picked to speak first, to which he replied he thought someone made a mistake. “When I heard that I would be the first speaker tonight, I think maybe somebody made a mistake,” Yao said. “Don’t laugh. Because I think this spot belonged to the great Allen Iverson. You know why?”

He paused as the crowd clapped and then delivered the punch line, “Because I need more practice than him.” Iverson especially seemed to love the joke.