NBA Rumor: Hall of Fame Selections

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2 months ago via ESPN

A star-studded Class of 2020, including Tim Duncan, Kevin Garnett and Kobe Bryant, will now be inducted in May at the Mohegan Sun Casino in Uncasville, Connecticut, the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame announced Friday. The induction festivities are set for May 13-15, 2021. Jerry Colangelo, the chairman of the board of governors for the Hall of Fame, previously told ESPN that the original dates of enshrinement weekend, Aug. 28-30, and the proposed alternate dates, Oct. 10-12, were “just not feasible” because of the coronavius pandemic.

CEO John Doleva told the Globe the Hall will decide this coming week whether to retain the Aug. 28-30 window, which will begin at Mohegan Sun and then return to Springfield for the induction. Kevin Garnett, Tim Duncan, and Tamika Catchings are among those in the class of 2020. Doleva said the Hall will move the ceremony from Symphony Hall (capacity 2,611), which has housed the event since 2009, to the MassMutual Center (capacity, 8,319), allowing patrons more room for social distancing. Doleva added alternate dates would be over the Columbus Day weekend, Oct. 9-11, or in the spring of 2021. The Hall is not considering a combined ceremony for the classes of 2020 and 2021. “I do want to make it very clear we will have a separate event for the class of 2020 because of the notoriety of that class and, frankly, every class deserves its own recognition,” Doleva said. “There is a potential next calendar year that we could have two enshrinements.”

One major change for this ceremony is the reallowance of family members to speak live at the ceremony in the inductees’ honor. It’s uncertain whether Vanessa Bryant, Kobe’s widow, will speak at the ceremony, but the Hall will have a representative for Bryant speak on his behalf. In past years, the Hall changed its policy of allowing family members of posthumous inductees to speak live at the ceremony. Instead, they accepted the award with a taped video presentation. That will change this year.

“No. 1, the NCAA doesn’t own (the) Fab Five — Isiah Thomas taught me this,” Rose said. “The same way the NBA doesn’t own (Detroit’s) Bad Boys, so if that was like ‘March Madness’ or ‘One Shining Moment,’ something that they owned, that’s something they would acknowledge and give love to. When you see highlights of teams going in and out of the commercials, they show teams that didn’t win the championship, so they could show us if they really wanted to. So that has to be a conscious decision, and that’s fine. It’ll happen, and it’s just like him going to the Hall of Fame; I believe it will happen.”

2020 Basketball Hall of Fame ceremony delayed to 2021

Count the Naismith Basketball Hall of Fame as the latest institution to have its best-laid plans felled by the coronavirus. Jerry Colangelo, the chairman of the board of the governors for the Hall, told ESPN on Wednesday that enshrinement ceremonies for the Class of 2020, one of the most star-studded lineups ever which includes Tim Duncan, Kevin Garnett and the late Kobe Bryant, will be moved to spring of 2021.

“I’ve had conversations with people and I think Webb is undoubtedly a Hall of Famer,” said Doug Christie, Webber’s teammate in Sacramento. “Period. That’s where I stand.” Webber has been eligible for induction since 2013, and after not being enshrined last year, he isn’t bothered by the situation. “The first few years I did, but I know I am one,” Webber told The Athletic last July. “That’s the way I’ve got to treat it and be thankful for the blessings I’ve got.”

“Webb was willing to sacrifice in a lot of ways and that allowed Peja (Stojakovic) to grow,” Christie said. “That allowed me to grow, that allowed Bobby (Jackson) to grow, that allowed Vlade to grow, with his unselfishness with the passing. “You’ve got (Arvydas) Sabonis, you’ve got Vlade, Webb is right there, and Bill Walton, when you talk about the greatest big men passers of all time. The touch on the passes, the creativity, the sight, the timeliness, also the unselfishness. Sometimes it’s a wide-open jump shot and he’d see somebody cutting by and he just hits them and they get a layup. It just keeps the game free. Also, his ability to communicate on the floor I thought was underrated.”

Kevin Love: Just reflecting on the 2020 HOF class and missing the game. Tim Duncan — Best Power Forward Ever. Being in the Western Conference my first 6 years, we had a lot of battles. He gave me my welcome to the NBA moment 4 games into my rookie season. Having that experience and watching Tony Parker drop 55 on us was a lot for a fat white boy from suburban Oregon who turned 20 y/o only 2 months prior. As I’m writing this I’m just realizing it’s his birthday…so, HBD to the 15x All Star, 5 time Champion, 15x All NBA, 15x All Defensive, 2x MVP, 3x Finals MVP, 97-98 Rookie of the Year. I wouldn’t have the success I’ve had in our league without learning from #21. 🙏🏻🙏🏻🙏🏻



Yet despite all these credentials and then some, Toni Kukoc has yet to be named a Hall of Famer. This year was the third in a row that the Croatian great wasn’t inducted into the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame after being among the nominees. “Honestly, it means a lot more to me that I played alongside Michael Jordan and won NBA titles,” Kukoc said in an interview with Croatian website tportal. “I have no influence in my induction into the Hall of Fame. People are asked to decide and I’d really like to know who these people are. It’s allegedly unknown who they are because they haven’t been presented publicly. I really don’t know whether or not I’ll ever enter the Hall of Fame. Would I like it? Of course, I would! Well, another year has passed but nothing happened.”

The former three-time champion with the Chicago Bulls said that he prefers to shift his attention to a passion that shares with former teammate Michael Jordan: Golfing. “After all, what am I going to say about myself? But if my former coaches, former teammates, and basketball experts say I am one of the top 3-4 European players of all time, what are we talking about? Maybe they all don’t know what they’re talking about? It doesn’t make sense to talk about that any more… You know, I would rather spend that energy playing an 18-hole golf course.”

To be going in with this vaunted class — with Kobe and Duncan — how special does that feel? It’s perhaps the most star-studded Hall of Fame ever. Kevin Garnett: The achievement itself is supremely over the top and the culmination of the things I’ve worked on, the countless hours you’ve put into a craft. It’s something special. The way I came in: Not going to college, taking a real bet on myself and betting on my work ethic and pushing myself night in and night out, being a professional and doing it the right way. Never taking shortcuts. Going hard as I can, you want to be able to look back on it and say that it was worth something. To meet Kobe early, we had a friendship and a real bond. To go up against Timmy and the countless battles, it’s just … I couldn’t put this story, with all the minor details … I couldn’t make this story more compelling than it already is. This is the perfect way to end a dope story.

You had a rivalry with Tim throughout your career, mostly because of the beast that was the Western Conference and the power forwards across the conference, including him, Rasheed Wallace and Chris Webber. How ironic is it now that you and Tim are going in together? Kevin Garnett: Yeah, man. In the sense of having a career, you never know how long it’s going to go. You don’t even know if you’re even going to have one. So to have one, and be pretty good at it and you can look back at accolades and won some things and most importantly, left your print on the game … Timmy, for me, him and Rasheed were always the pinnacle. They were always the more tougher matchup for me personally. Lot of times going into matchups, I had a lot of upside when I came in. I can say that these two were one of the difficult ones for me.

“He wanted to in the worst way,” said Colangelo, who was the managing director of USA Basketball Men’s Senior National Team program at the time. “I put him on by saying, ‘Look, we may want you to do something else rather than score. We may need you to be the distributor’ and he kind of looked at me funny and we smiled and he said, ‘I’ll do whatever you want. I just want to be part of it.'” This was coming off the 2004 U.S. Olympic team winning just a bronze medal.

“We go to training camp in Vegas and he’s there two days early and is in the workout room at 5:30 in the morning working on his weights,” Colangelo recalls. “If you practice twice a day, that was his first workout before the two regular workouts. As players like Carmelo and LeBron, Wade and (Chris) Bosh and others, they saw that and they started going in that early. So he led by example.” Case in point. “The first day of scrimmage, he’s diving on the floor for a loose ball,” Colangelo said. Bryant scored 20 points in the 118-107 gold medal victory over Spain in Beijing, hitting clutch shots in the fourth quarter. “Had it not been for Wade and in particular, Kobe’s late-game heroics, we may not have won,” Colangelo said. “Spain played that well against us.”

“It’s the culmination,” Garnett told ESPN during Saturday’s broadcast. “It’s the culmination, man. You put countless hours into this. You dedicate yourself to a craft. You take no days off. You play through injuries. You play through demise. You play through obstacles. You give no excuses for anything. You learn, you build. “This is the culmination. All those hours … this is what you do it for, right here. For me, to be called a Hall of Famer, is everything.”


He was a five-time All-Star, making the All-NBA Second Team three times, and the first and third teams once each. “It doesn’t make a lot of sense,” Stan Van Gundy told Yahoo Sports. “There’s a few guys who haven’t gotten in yet but will get in … but the only guys who haven’t gotten in are Tim, Ben Wallace and Kevin Johnson. Five times, All-NBA? Top 15 in the NBA and for Tim, top 10? That’s really high-level stuff. That’s being the best of the best for long periods of time and that’s generally what they look at. How were you in your era?”

To keep the list short this time, the direct-elect categories that send one person each straight to the Hall – no finalist round for them – have been suspended. That includes the men’s and women’s veterans committees, the early African-American committee and the contributor committee. The exception this year is the international committee, which still will select a Hall of Famer to be announced with the actual Class of 2020 at the NCAA men’s Final Four April 4 in Atlanta. Said Colangelo: “Because of the enormity, even before Kobe’s death, we think Kobe and Duncan and Garnett bring to [this] … we’ve never had a class that strong at the top. And then with Kobe’s death, it added more focus.”

The upside of waiting? Not to get “lost in the shuffle,” as Colangelo described it. “Sad as it all is, we have to deal with that,” Colangelo said. “And life does go on in the world of basketball and the Hall of Fame. We don’t want to take away from the people here who are prospective inductees.” Asked if the 2020 ceremony in Springfield might be different as well from recent editions, the Hall chairman said: “Let’s put it this way: There’s a great sensitivity as a result, and so that leads to probably a little bit different than in the past. But it’s going to be done the right way.”

In one of the most anticipated Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame classes in years, Kobe Bryant, Kevin Garnett and Tim Duncan headline the finalists up for induction in August. The finalists were announced on Friday at NBA All-Star Weekend, and Hall of Fame chairman Jerry Colangelo said they kept the class small this year because of the magnitude of the players who are expected to reach the Hall. Colangelo said that was the plan before Kobe Bryant’s death.

Metta, who made the NBA all-defensive team 4 times and was an All-American in college, said it’s not just him who believe he’s one of the best ever … some of the best ever believe it too. “When you get Reggie Miller saying, ‘He’s the best defender ever.’ You get Kobe saying, ‘He’s the best defender ever on the wing.’ Michael Jordan [praised me] early on in my career, it’s documented.” Despite all that love, Metta says people don’t want him enshrined … and he knows why. “A lot of people don’t wanna see me in that Hall of Fame. I never really was afraid to speak my mind. I never submitted to being that corporate person. I never gave a f*ck. So, It’s gonna be hard to get in.”

TMZ Sports spoke with future Hall of Famer Lou Williams on Tuesday night … and yeah, you read that correctly … ’cause the L.A. Clippers star says he’s deserving of a spot in Springfield!!! We spoke with the 2-time Sixth Man of the Year award winner at the Ethika pop-up shop in L.A. on Tuesday night … and asked if he’s done enough to join the game’s best players in the Hall if he’s named the league’s best bench player again. “Yeah, I’ve seen guys in the Hall of Fame with less. I’ve put the work in,” the 14-year NBA veteran tells us.

Scottie Pippen: Toni Kukoc deserves to be a Hall of Famer

Vlade Divac got the Hall call Saturday as the international committee’s selection for the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame’s Class of 2019. Is it only a matter of time for Toni Kukoc? “I definitely think he deserves it,” longtime teammate and Class of 2010 Hall of Famer Scottie Pippen said. “He was a huge piece for us. You look at the game today, teams have the Big Three now. Toni was a part of that puzzle for us. He was productive and deserves a lot of credit for our success.”

Kukoc, who was elected to the FIBA Hall of Fame in 2017, has been a finalist for enshrinement in Springfield, Mass., twice. “I’ve seen some things go on in the Hall of Fame that really have been a little bit shocking,” Pippen said. “I’ve seen some guys get in where I think Toni and Ron (Harper) definitely had a lot better career than those guys. I think they’re getting a little bit of a knock-back because they were part of a team with me and Michael (Jordan). But those guys are winners. “It was a great journey to play my career alongside Toni, even though he came over as one of the enemies. We grew together and had a lot of success and a lot of fun.”

The 2019 Hall of Fame class will be announced at the upcoming NCAA Men’s Final Four in Minneapolis. “Sidney was the epitome of a professional basketball player, in all aspects,’’ Buckner said. “He was skilled, intelligent, courteous, respectful, played at a high level and played every night at a high level. I don’t think there’s any question he was as good a two-way player that I’ve played with. Sidney was a basketball player – period. “I really hope Sidney does get into the Hall. He was really great for the game and he’s a terrific human being.’’

Ben Wallace didn’t expect to take a call Friday that he was one of the finalists for the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame. “I’m still trying to soak it all in, take it all in,” Wallace said Saturday, a day after the announcement. “It’s definitely nerve-wracking, exciting, not really knowing. There are a lot of players still on that waiting list who haven’t had that opportunity to get this far. So, I’m just thankful and grateful and just enjoying this moment right now.”
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