Yao Ming cracks Allen Iverson joke to break the ice at Hall of Fame ceremony

Not even Yao Ming was sure why he was giving the first speech at Friday’s Basketball Hall of Fame ceremony. But he gave a classy one, and broke the ice with —€” what else? —€” an Allen Iverson joke.

"I think this spot [speaking first] belongs to the great Allen Iverson," Yao said. "Because I need more practice than him."

Even A.I. had to laugh. Yao could’ve gotten away with dropping the mic and walking off then and there, but he continued and the jokes kept coming.

In acknowledging his wife Li, he mentioned "our lovely daughter Amy" who wasn’t present.

"We wish she could be here, but she is in her first week of school," Yao said. "And she has to live with the consequences of choosing soccer over basketball."

He even had a one-liner about playing against Shaq: "Every game we played reminded me of that old saying: What doesn’t kill you makes you stronger."

Yao Ming, ladies and gentlemen!