Three big names in the game will take their rightful place alongside other immortal basketball players.
The late Kobe Bryant, Tim Duncan and Kevin Garnett are expected to be entered into the Basketball Hall of Fame.
Announced on Saturday afternoon, Bryant, Duncan and Garnett are, perhaps, the three greatest players of an intermediate era of basketball after the retirement of the Chicago Michael Bulls and before the rise of LeBron James as well as the flood of stars that followed today. .
It was a period of basketball that many would rather forget, a time when today’s style of three-point bombardment of pace and space seemed to be an impossibility, as the most effective means of winning was the muscular defense and trafficking. clock for all that it was worth.
It was a trio that thrived in this environment and became a legend.
Here’s a look at some of their career highlights in numbers.
(Photo credit: Darren Abate / AP)
Bryant, daughter Gianna and seven others tragically lost their lives in a helicopter accident in late January this year.
“It is an incredible accomplishment and honor, and we are extremely proud of him,” said Vanessa Bryant, Kobe’s widow, during the Hall of Fame television broadcast. “Obviously we wish he was here with us to celebrate, but it is certainly the pinnacle of his NBA career and every accomplishment he has had as an athlete has been a stepping stone to be here. So we are incredibly proud of him and there is some comfort in knowing that we will be part of the Hall of Fame 2020 class. ”
Bryant’s accomplishments on and off the field have been immense. Here are some of them.
1: Gianna, Bryant’s 13-year-old daughter who died alongside her in this helicopter, wanted to be the No. 1 pick in the WNBA draft. Bryant also wanted this dream to come true for her. He thus created the Mamba Sports Academy and was particularly interested in training his women’s basketball team.
We will never know if Gianna would have made his dreams come true, but the fruit that will bear the seeds that Bryant planted in founding this academy will surely be exciting to watch in the future.
8, 24: Bryant is the only player in NBA history to remove two numbers from the same team. The numbers 8 and 24 reflect the two halves of Bryant’s career, the first being when he entered the league and quickly grew in importance, winning three consecutive titles alongside Shaquille O’Neal, and the latter when he changed characters for “The Black Mamba”, winning two other championships with Pau Gasol as his best sidekick.
18: That’s the number of star appearances that Bryant has made in his illustrious career. Second of all time only in front of the great Kareem Abdul-Jabbar’s 19.
81: On January 22, 2006, Bryant scored 81 points in a game against the Toronto Raptors, the second most points ever by a single player in a single game in NBA history, behind the effort of 100 Wilt Chamberlain points in 1962.
This shows how prolific the Bryant marker has been. The 33,643 points he has accumulated are fourth overall, and his six career games over the age of 60 are also second.
If there is an odd couple of podcasting, that may be it. Donnovan Bennett and JD Bunkis don’t get along very well, but you will agree that this is the best podcast of the Toronto Raptors.
(Photo credit: David J. Phillip / AP)
Duncan has practically lived the perfect basketball career. Starting at university when he was named National Consensus Player of the Year in his final year at Wake Forest in 1997, he was then selected with the top pick in the NBA Draft overall and won the title of rookie of the year. Award, launching a remarkable career with the San Antonio Spurs, with whom he now works as an assistant coach.
“It’s kind of the end of the trip here,” said Duncan on the show. “It was an incredible career that I enjoyed so much. Calling it a dream come true would not do this justice, because I never dreamed that I would be at this point. I played the game, I liked the game, I loved what I did and be here now with the guys I will be placed in the Hall of Fame. It’s an incredible class. “
2: There have only been 13 MVP winners multiple times in the history of the league, and Duncan is one of them, winning two consecutive honors in 2002 and 2003.
3: Like Bryant, Duncan has won five championships in his career, but he is just one of four players in NBA history to have won three MVPs in the final. Jordan is the only player in NBA history to have won more than three, including six amazing ones.
106.34: Duncan is one of the greatest defensive players of all time, a nickname proven by his 15 defensive team selections (first eight and seven seconds).
But to put how much his defensive ability was in a broader context, you just need to look at this number, which is the number of defensive victory shares (a measure that estimates the number of wins a player produces for his team due to his defensive capacity), he accumulated during his career, a second all-time figure only to Bill Russell.
.710: Duncan was so dominant in his 19 seasons that it was the Spurs’ winning percentage while playing, a mark that was the best among the top four North American sports during that period.
(Photo credit: Winslow Townson, File / AP)
A force of nature, Garnett made himself flesh during his 21-season career. Known for his trash talk on the pitch, Garnett could more than confirm him as one of the most versatile big men the game has ever seen by the time he first broke in and is a role model for the big ” unicorn “modern as we know them today.
“This is the culmination,” Garnett said on the show. “You dedicate countless hours to this, you dedicate yourself to a trade, you don’t take days off, you play because of injuries, you play to death, you play through obstacles, you give no excuse for anything, you love, learn, build. This is the highlight.
“All these hours of everything you’ve put in place, that’s why you do it all. Being called Hall of Famer means everything. “
4: Garnett probably spent the best days of his career in Minnesota, which means there is a good chance that many may not have seen the best days of his career, but to put his talent in the right context, just look at this number here.
It’s the number of players who have managed to win both a Defensive Player of the Year award and an MVP in their careers. Garnett is part of this quartet, which also includes Jordan, Hakeem Olajuwon and David Robinson.
seven: This is the number of players the Boston Celtics traded against the Minnesota Timberwolves to acquire Garnett. Specifically, the Celtics traded Ryan Gomes, Gerald Green, Al Jefferson, Theo Ratliff, Sebastian Telfair and two first round picks who would become Wayne Ellington and Jonny Flynn.
1995: Garnett was drafted in 1995 with the Timberwolves’ No. 5 overall pick, but the circumstances of his selection were more unique than most. This is because Garnett became the first player since Darryl Dawkins and Bill Willoughby in 1975 to be caught in the NBA draft straight out of high school. This opened the doors to likes of Bryant, James and others to follow in his footsteps.
∞: If we will remember Garnett for anything, it will be to remind us all after winning the championship in 2008 that “anything is possible”.