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GOAT CLASS: With the announcement that the 2020 Naismith Hall-of-Fame class will feature Kobe Bryant, Tim Duncan and Kevin Garnett (with two-time title-winning head coach Rudy Tomjanovich joining them), we got to thinking: Could this be the single greatest Hall-of-Fame class of all time? Well, according to what the numbers have to say about that, the answer is a clear and resounding yes.
We went back through every class to enter the prestigious Hall throughout history, added up the number of times the players featured annually won a variety of awards — namely: MVP, 1st Team, 2nd Team, 3rd Team All-NBA, total All-NBA berths, All-Star appearances, NCAA championships won, World and Olympic Gold medals earned and, finally NBA titles won — and sorted each year out to see which classes had the most combined accolades.
The upcoming 2020 class — with 144 combined such awards — does, and by a landslide mark. The next closest group was the 2009 class, which featured Michael Jordan, David Robinson and John Stockton, but they had merely 120 such awards to their names, leaving them 24 short of their 2020 counterparts. In third place was the 2010 class, which included Scottie Pippen, Karl Malone and Dennis Johnson and had 101 combined awards.
PESSIMISM BREWING? Brian Windhorst reported late last night that the league is preparing for a situation where the rest of the season is canceled as they negotiate with the Players’ Association about payments to players going forward — and that there’s significant pessimism right now about a potential return later in the year.
CHANGES COMING IN CHICAGO? Looks like the Bulls might finally be serious about changes at the top, as, reportedly, they’re set to look for a new front-office exec who will have full authority on basketball decisions.
Among the candidates to replace the ineffective John Paxson-Gar Forman combo: Miami’s Adam Simon, Indiana’s Chad Buchanon and Toronto’s Bobby Webster.
MORE FRONT OFFICE SCUTTLE: The Knicks and new president of basketball operations Leon Rose are reportedly looking at Philadelphia’s Elton Brand to be their next general manager. The Sixers won’t just let him go, though, so that could get interesting.
CAME TO PLAY: We recently looked back at some of the players who were the most productive before turning 20 years old and ranked the Top 15 teenagers in league history.
FORMER ALL-STAR: Our own Alex Kennedy spoke to one-time All-Star, three-time block champion Theo Ratliff about a variety of topics, including his run to the Finals alongside Allen Iverson.
TALKING TO A TALKING HEAD: Alex Kennedy was also joined by 10-year-NBA-veteran-turned-ESPN-commenter Ryan Hollins, who credit Kevin Garnett for extending his NBA career.
UNREACHED POTENTIAL: 13-year NBA vet Larry Hughes believes injuries prevented him from reaching the ceiling he thinks he had. Considering Hughes had a three-year run where he averaged 19.3 points and 5.5 rebounds per game, he might have a point.
RE-DRAFT: We went back to the much-maligned 2001 NBA Draft and changed the order to the way it should have been. Pau Gasol (actual pick: No. 3), Tony Parker (No. 28) and Joe Johnson (No. 10) should have been the Top 3 selections.