Houston Rockets guard Russell Westbrook sent out congratulations to the 2020 Basketball Hall of Fame class, one headlined by NBA greats Kobe Bryant, Tim Duncan and Kevin Garnett.
Westbrook hailed the trio as inspiring athletes and people, saying each of them “inspired me as a young buck growing up.”
Kobe, KG and Duncan inspired a generation 🏆 @russwest44 pic.twitter.com/WWeOR7FPYA
— Bleacher Report (@BleacherReport) April 5, 2020
The 2020 class is undoubtedly one of the best in recent memory, with WNBA great Tamika Catchings and a host of others also set to be inducted this summer.
Bryant, Duncan and Garnett each came to define a generation of NBA stars at the turn of the millennium, extending their excellence into the 2010s as well.
Kobe was the staple of a Los Angeles Lakers franchise that would win five NBA titles between 2000 and 2010. On the other hand, Duncan was the quiet star who symbolized the San Antonio Spurs’ consistent and steady excellence throughout the past couple decades.
Meanwhile, Garnett was one of the fiercest competitors in league history, and his decision to team up with Paul Pierce and Ray Allen on the Boston Celtics helped set the precedent for star players joining forces in pursuit of a championship.
The accolades are too numerous to name, but Westbrook is right to point out the sheer influence each of these players had on the current generation of NBA stars.
Plenty of modern NBA players would posit Kobe is their favorite player, while Duncan and Garnett have been lauded for their drive and unquestioned devotion to their teammates.
Though there will be a bit of somberness considering Bryant — who died in a helicopter crash in January — will not be on hand to speak about his induction, Westbrook is just many who understand the impact each of the three stars had on the game.