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Kobe, Kevin Garnett, Tim Duncan among the HOF 2020 basketball candidates

The names are gigantic, three of the biggest and best in basketball for the past 20 years.

The Basketball Hall of Fame class 2020 is full of sizes of all time – one of the most anticipated classes in years.

And while there is reason to celebrate the initiates, this year’s class, which was announced on Saturday, is also marked by the deep sadness of Kobe Bryant’s death.

Bryant, who died in a helicopter crash on January 26, along with his daughter Gianna and seven others, was elected to the Basketball Hall of Fame in their first year with Tim Duncan and Kevin Garnett.

Also elected: former NBA coach Rudy Tomjanovich, former WNBA star Tamika Catchings, Baylor women’s basketball coach Kim Mulkey, former Division II women’s coach Barbara Stevens, former Division I men’s coach Eddie Sutton and former FIBA ​​manager Patrick Baumann.

The inauguration ceremony is scheduled for August 29 at the Basketball Hall of Fame in Springfield, Massachusetts.

Bryant’s physical presence will be missing, but his presence will be felt, especially by the one who delivers a speech on his behalf.

Bryant spent 20 years with the Los Angeles Lakers, winning five NBA titles, one MVP and two finals MVPs. In February, the league renamed the All-Star MVP Trophy as an 18-time All-Star and four-time All-Star MVP. Bryant was a talented and productive scorer, leading the league twice, including 35.4 points per game in the 2005/06 season. He is fourth on the league’s overall list. Bryant also won two Olympic gold medals with Team USA and was a regular on the NBA’s all-defensive team.

Duncan was a force for the San Antonio Spurs offensive and defensive. Duncan won five titles with the Spurs, earned three final MVPs and two regular season MVPs. He played the all-star game 15 times, was eight times in the all-defensive first team and 15 times all-NBA performer. He is one of five players in NBA history who score at least 26,000 points and collect at least 15,000 rebounds.

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