The Naismith Basketball Hall of Fame Class of 2020 — headlined by NBA icons Kobe Bryant, Tim Duncan and Kevin Garnett — will have to wait for immortalized enshrinement until 2021.
According to ESPN’s Jackie MacMullan and Adrian Wojnarowski, the Hall is pushing the ceremony until next year due to the threats of the coronavirus pandemic.
The Naismith Basketball Hall of Fame enshrinement ceremony for Kobe Bryant, Tim Duncan and Kevin Garnett will be pushed to 2021, ESPN's Jackie MacMullan reports. https://t.co/o1MnULa6PG
— Adrian Wojnarowski (@wojespn) May 28, 2020
The COVID-19 pandemic has not only suspended the 2019-20 NBA season, but it has also postponed the 2020 NBA Draft Lottery and Combine (along with the possibility of postponing the June draft). Now, it has pushed back the final chance to memorialize Bryant, along with his former on-court adversaries in Garnett and Duncan.
The decision, however, didn’t come much of a surprise. Recently, Hall of Fame CEO John Doleva acknowledged the possibility of the enshrinement ceremony being moved because of the global health crisis. In his statement, Doleva noted that the Class of 2020 would have a separate ceremony in the event that it is moved to next year.
“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, per Gary Washburn of The Boston Globe. “There is a potential next calendar year that we could have two enshrinements.”
According to Doleva, they were looking at Columbus Day and Spring 2021 as possible new dates for the ceremony. Now, with the report of the enshrinement moving to next year, it’s possible that the enshrinement of the NBA legends and their Hall of Fame classmates will commence in spring.