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Lakers’ Kobe Bryant, Celtics’ Kevin Garnett highlight 2020 Hall-of-Fame finalists

Kevin Garnett, Kobe Bryant, Celtics, Lakers

The NBA announced the finalists for the 2020 Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame. Recently deceased Los Angeles Lakers star shooting guard Kobe Bryant and former Boston Celtics rival power forward Kevin Garnett are among the elite company.

In typical quiet manner, five-time NBA champion San Antonio Spurs power forward/center Tim Duncan is also a finalist for the Hall of Fame.

Other finalists rounding out the class, announced during the NBA’s 2020 All-Star weekend in Chicago, are Baylor University women’s basketball head coach Kim Mulkey, former Houston Rockets forward and two-time champion head coach Rudy Tomjanovich, Bentley University women’s basketball head coach Barbara Stevens, retired Arkansas and Kentucky men’s basketball head coach Eddie Sutton, and retired Indiana Fever WNBA champion Tamika Catchings.

Bryant’s inclusion in the Hall of Fame was anticipated but no less upsetting due to the proximity of his sudden and tragic death. His 13-year-old daughter Gianna and seven others were on board a helicopter that crashed in Calabasas, California, on Jan. 26.

Bryant will also enter the Hall with his peers and on-court rivals Duncan and Garnett. The latter of whom will have his jersey retired by the Celtics this season. Garnett helped Boston win the 2007-08 NBA Finals, facing Bryant and the Lakers. Garnett also won Defensive Player of the Year that season and had a distinguished career with the Minnesota Timberwolves, winning the MVP award in 2003-04.

Duncan, Bryant, and Garnett all had memorable battles playing for their respective teams in the Western Conference. That was before Garnett was traded to the Celtics, facing Kobe and the Lakers in the Finals twice.

Now, all three will enter the Hall of Fame together.