Kobe Bryant, Tim Duncan and Kevin Garnett headline 2020 Basketball Hall of Fame


The 2020 Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame has been unveiled and it’s transcendent, headlined by Kobe Bryant, Tim Duncan and Kevin Garnett. In addition to these NBA legends, the WNBA champion and the 10-time All-Star Tamika Catchings will also be dedicated. Former Houston Rockets coach Rudy Tomjanovich, former college coach Eddie Sutton, former Baylor women’s basketball coach Kim Mulkey, former female college basketball coach Barbara Stevens and former executive of the FIBA ​​and the IOC Patrick Baumann also join the class.

The trio of Bryant, Duncan and Garnett have combined to win 11 NBA championships and four MVP awards throughout their decorated careers. Garnett has spent his post-game career working in the media, while Duncan is currently the assistant coach of the only team he played for, the San Antonio Spurs. Bryant, who died in a helicopter accident in January, was posthumously inducted along with Baumann.

Bryant spent his entire 20-year career in the NBA with the Los Angeles Lakers, winning five championships and the 2008 MVP Award. His tragic death drew tributes and praise from across the league. Lakers game against Los Angeles Clippers has been postponed to give the team time to mourn their loss, and when they finally returned to court five days later, they only did so after a tribute before – extremely moving match of almost 30 minutes. Each time the induction ceremony takes place, it will likely be another opportunity for the legends of Springfield, Massachusetts to honor it.

Kobe’s wife, Vanessa Bryant, talked about the enthronement of her late husband after its official announcement:

“It is an incredible accomplishment and an honor, and we are extremely proud of him,” said Vanessa. “We obviously want him to be here with us to celebrate, but it is certainly the culmination 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. “

Former Lakers legend Magic Johnson also talked about Kobe’s induction and the sadness he feels that the Black Mamba will not be there to receive the award.

“It breaks my heart that he is not there to receive the award himself and deliver an excellent speech,” said Johnson. “But to his wife and three daughters, as well as to the parents and two sisters, I want to congratulate and we, Lakers fans and players, will be there to support you. “

Duncan’s career in the field followed a path similar to that of Kobe. He spent 19 seasons with the Spurs, winning five championships like Bryant, but outperforming him in the MVP by winning two consecutive trophies in 2002 and 2003. The two faced off six times in the playoffs, the Lakers winning four. series. Their personalities could not have been more different, but their rivalry has been the backbone of the Western Conference for more than a decade. It is fair that they should enter the Hall of Fame together.

After receiving word of his induction, Duncan reflected on his remarkable career in the league.

“You always get the questions” What would you change? What would you do differently? “And honestly, I don’t think there is anything I would do differently,” said Duncan. “I was fortunate to have incredible teammates, an organization, a coach … just people here and there. We were lucky to win championships. We were able to live these experiences, but as much as these championships are highlights, you also remember the losses, the grouping of individuals, the people you watched and on whom you counted to pick up the pieces and come back to them. There is nothing I would change, it was a blessing all along. “

Garnett quarry was a little more complicated. He eventually played for three teams, starting with the Minnesota Timberwolves, but was eventually traded to the Boston Celtics where he won his only championship. He ended his career with the Brooklyn Nets and a second visit with the Timberwolves. Like Bryant, he won an MVP, and the two faced off twice in the NBA Finals. Garnett talked about his enthronement, especially about the career change that led the Celtics.

“Coming to Boston has been a huge challenge in my life. It was probably one of the biggest decisions I have made in my career, and I am glad I made it, “said Garnett. “We should have met a few years earlier, we would probably be sitting on two or three more rings, but I’m glad to be here. I’m glad to be able to enter a class with Timmy [Duncan]. I am very honored to participate in the class with the great Kobe Bryant, Tamika Catchings and others. It’s a highlight for me, though. All the hard work is what you do it for. “

Although he didn’t have as much jewelry as the others, he was just as equal in playing ability. The trio of Bryant, Duncan and Garnett combine to form one of the largest classes in the Temple of renowned in the history of sport.

Catchings career should also be held in the same way as its male counterparts. She played 15 years in the WNBA with Indiana fever, after finishing third overall in 2001. In 2012, the former Tennessee standout player helped the Fever win his first and only championship, while winning the MVP title of the final. Over the course of her career, Catchings has averaged 16.1 points, 7.3 rebounds and 3.3 assists, while also being a lockout defenseman. She won the league MVP title and is the all-time leader in WNBA flights, five-time defensive player of the year and has four Olympic gold medals in her name.

Tomjanovich, double champion, led the Rockets to a pair of titles in the mid-1990s. He then coached the Bryant Lakers for 43 games before surprisingly resigning. Tomjanovich also played 12 seasons for the Rockets and was a star at the University of Michigan.

Sutton has reached the Final Four three times in a career who saw him run six different schools. The most prominent of these were Kentucky, which he coached from 1985 to 1989, and Oklahoma State, where he worked from 1990 to 2006. Sutton has not coached a college game since 2008, so his enthronement is long overdue.

Mulkey was previously inducted into the Hall of Fame as a player in 2000, and now she is recognized for his illustrious coaching career. With her induction, she is now the first person in NCAA history – male or female – to win a national championship as a player, assistant coach and head coach. She has won three national titles with Baylor, most recently in 2019, and has been named USBWA National Coach of the Year three times.

Stevens is only the fifth coach in the history of women’s college basketball at amass more than 1,000 wins in 40 years of coaching career. She has been named Coach of the Year in Division II Women’s Basketball five times and has led the 2014 Bentley National Championship.

Baumann was an FIBA ​​executive for 24 years before dying of a heart attack in 2018. During his time working with FIBA, Baumann helped develop youth basketball around the world and oversaw the advancement of 3v3 basketball, which will be added to the Tokyo Olympics for the first time when they take place in 2021 after being postponed due to COVID-19.

The induction ceremony is usually held in August, although the coronavirus epidemic has the potential to force the Hall of Fame to postpone the ceremony.


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