07/11/2011 12:46 pm ET | Updated Sep 10, 2011

Yao Ming A Hall Of Famer? Jeff Van Gundy Says Yes (POLL)

With eight all-star appearances, a reputation for dominance and grace on the floor and an indisputable role in spreading the game of basketball through Asia, recently retired center Yao Ming is stirring up his share of Hall of Fame buzz -- but does he deserve the honor?

Despite critics citing a career filled with injuries and, therefore, inconsistencies, Jeff Van Gundy, who coached Yao during his days with the Houston Rockets, seems to think the big man going to Springfield is a no-brainer.

Here's what Van Gundy told the Houston Chronicle:

"No. 1 to me, he's a Hall of Famer," Van Gundy said. "Idon't care if you put him in as player, as a contributor or put him in with his own heading. This guy definitely gets in for the greatness as a player when healthy or what he did as ambassador."

He then added a thought he would repeat often.

"People forget," Van Gundy said, "just how good he was."

Yao's stats may be too flakey for a bid in as a player, but as Pro Basketball Talk points out, given Yao's influence as an ambassador of the game, he could find his way into the Hall as under the "contributor" label.

Vote in our poll below or leave a comment to let us know what you think of Yao's bid for the Hall of Fame.