The late Kobe Bryant and former NBA players Tim Duncan and Kevin Garnett, among others, have entered the Hall of Fame this morning, the Hall of Fame, in an emotional ceremony postponed last year by the coronavirus pandemic and that recognized the Saturday to nine basketball legends.
In total, nine people from the ‘Class of 2020’, who could not be honored last year due to the coronavirus pandemic, entered the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame, based in the city of Springfield (Massachusetts).
In addition to Kobe Bryant, Tim Duncan and Kevin Garnett, Eddie Sutton, Rudy Tomjanovich, Tamika Catchings, Kim Mulkey, Barbara Stevens and Patrick Baumann also entered.
“You did it. Now you are in the Hall of Fame. You are a true champion. You are not just an MVP. You are one of the best of all time. I am so proud of you. I will love you forever and ever. Kobe. Bean . Bryant, “said an emotional Vanessa, Kobe’s widow, raising the applause of all those present, including the Spanish international Pau Gasol, a great friend of Bryant and his family, or the star Michael Jordan.
Bryant, who died on January 26, 2020 in a helicopter accident in Calabasas (California) with his daughter Gianna and seven others, was an 18-time All-Star, five-time NBA champion, two-time Finals MVP , twice the league’s leading scorer and once MVP. Additionally, he became an Olympic champion with the United States in 2008 and 2012.
For his part, Tim Duncan played 15 times the All-Star, was five times NBA champion, three times MVP of the Finals and two times MVP. He is the only player in NBA history with more than 1,000 wins for a single team, which he accomplished in his 19 years with the San Antonio Spurs.
In his speech, Duncan thanked coach Gregg Popovich, the only one he had in his entire time in the NBA. “Coach Pop, you showed up when I was drafted and you came to my island. You sat with my friends and my family, you talked to my father. I thought that was normal and it is not. You are an exceptional person. Thank you for teaching me basketball. and that not everything is basketball, “he said.
Also honored was Kevin Garnett, who in his 21 years in the NBA was an All-Star 15 times, won a championship, the MVP of the season and the All-Star.
Other protagonists were coach Kim Mulkey, who led the Baylor Bears to three NCAA championships; former Houston Rockets player and coach Rudy Tomjanovich, with whom the franchise won the NBA twice; the late Patrick Baumann, former FIBA executive and former member of the International Olympic Committee (IOC); former player Tamika Catchings, 10-time WNBA All-Star, champion and Finals MVP in 2012 and Regular Phase MVP in 2011; coach Eddie Sutton and coach Barbara Stevens, one of the few coaches to reach 1,000 wins in US women’s basketball and a multiple title champion with Bentley University.