Kobe Bryant, Tim Duncan, and Kevin Garnett are officially set to be a part of the Naismith Basketball Hall of Fame. Four years after he retired from basketball and three months after his tragic death, Bryant has been named in the enshrinement class of 2020.
The enshrinement ceremony will take place in August in Springfield, Massachusetts. Many players and fans shared their delight regarding the late legends’ inclusion.
Los Angeles Lakers owner Jeanie Buss said: “No amount of words can fully describe what Kobe Bryant meant to the Los Angeles Lakers. Kobe was not only a proven winner and a champion, he gave everything he had to the game of basketball.”
Bryant spent his entire senior career with the Lakers. During his 20 years with the team, the Lakers won five Championships. Bryant was an All-Star 18 times.
Further, Buss said, “His fierce competitiveness, work ethic and drive were unmatched.” Those qualities helped Kobe lead his team to five titles. He is now part of the Hall of Fame, where he has a rightful place among the game’s greatest.
Another player to have spent his entire NBA career with the Lakers was Magic Johnson. Johnson’s last official season with the Lakers was when Bryant entered the NBA. Johnson expressed bittersweet emotions. “It breaks my heart that he won’t be there to receive the award himself and give a great speech.”
Bryant’s former agent and current Lakers General Manager Rob Pelinka said that Kobe would deeply appreciate the honor.
“Kobe was always one to downplay his professional accomplishments – MVPs, NBA championships, gold medals, Oscars, and on and on and on. But all of us can trust that this Basketball Hall of Fame honor is one Kobe would, and will, deeply appreciate.,” Pelinka said.
“The highest of congratulations to you, dear friend. This one is so well deserved — for all the hard work, sweat and toil. Now, a part of you will live in the Hall with the rest of the all-time greats, where your legend and spirit will continue to grow forever.”
Bryant, Duncan, and Garnett will be enshrined from the NBA. However, WNBA’s Rudy Tomjanovich is also part of the class of 2020. She is also a 10-time WNBA All-Star and four-time Olympic gold medalist. Apart from the four, five others will find themselves as in the Hall of Fame.
Other names include four-time National Coach of the Year, Eddie Sutton and two-time NBA Champion coach Rudy Tomjanovich. The Hall of Fame will also honor three-time NCAA National Championship Coach of Baylor Kim Mulkey, five-time Division II National Coach of the Year Barbara Stevens, and longtime FIBA executive Patrick Baumann.
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