Kobe leads Finalists for Basketball Hall of Fame Class of 2020 Election
ABS-CBN Sports on Feb 15, 2020 08:39 AM
Kobe Bryant leads four first-time finalists for the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame (FILE PHOTO/AP PHOTO)
CHICAGO, IL (Feb. 14, 2020) – The Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame announced today, at NBA All-Star Weekend, four extraordinary players and four exceptional coaches, as finalists from the North American and Women’s committees to be considered for election in 2020.
This year’s list includes four first-time finalists: 18-time NBA All-Star and five-time NBA champion Kobe Bryant, 15-time NBA All-Star and three-time NBA Finals MVP Tim Duncan, 15-time NBA All-Star and nine-time NBA All-Defensive First Team selection Kevin Garnett, and 10-time WNBA All-Star and four-time Olympic gold medalist Tamika Catchings.
Previous finalists included again this year for consideration are three-time NCAA National Championship Coach of Baylor Kim Mulkey, five-time Division II National Coach of the Year Barbara Stevens, four-time National Coach of the Year Eddie Sutton and two-time NBA Champion coach Rudy Tomjanovich.
“When the nominees for the Class of 2020 were announced in December, we knew this class had the potential of being one of the most historic of all time,” said Jerry Colangelo, Chairman of the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame. “The untimely passing of Kobe Bryant has left us in a state of reflective mourning and we’re proud to honor his legacy while also recognizing seven other individuals who have meant so much to our game. We congratulate our finalists and those who have supported them on their journeys, and we look forward to revealing the Class of 2020 at the Final Four in Atlanta.”
Given the magnitude and the unique circumstance surrounding the potential Class of 2020, the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame Election Process Committee has suspended the Direct Election Categories for one year with the exception of the International Committee. The suspension will affect the Men’s and Women’s Veterans Committees, the Early African American Pioneer Committee, and the Contributor Committee. It is expected these categories will return for consideration for 2021. The goal of this suspension is to provide each enshrinee with the recognition and notoriety he or she deserves upon election.
The complete list of five finalists from the North American Screening Committee includes: players Kobe Bryant, Tim Duncan, and Kevin Garnett, plus coaches Eddie Sutton and Rudy Tomjanovich. The three finalists from the Women’s Screening Committee include: player Tamika Catchings; and coaches Kim Mulkey and Barbara Stevens.
The Hall of Fame Class of 2020 Announcement will take place on Saturday April 4th at 11:00 AM EST on ESPN from the NCAA Final Four in Atlanta, Georgia. A finalist needs 18 of 24 votes from the Honors Committee for election into the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame. The Class of 2020 will be enshrined during festivities in Springfield, Massachusetts, the Birthplace of Basketball, August 28-30, 2020. VIP Tickets Packages for the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame Class of 2020 Enshrinement events are on sale at www.hoophall.com. Single event tickets will be available Saturday, April 4th, subject to availability.
North American Committee Finalists:
KOBE BRYANT [Player] – Recognized posthumously, Bryant was an 18-time NBA All-Star (1998, 2000-16) and 11-time All-NBA First Team selection (2002, 2003, 2004, 2006-13). As an All-Star, he earned the Game’s MVP trophy four times (2002, 2007, 2009, 2011). He was also a five-time NBA Champion with the Los Angeles Lakers (2000, 2001, 2002, 2009, 2010), the 2008 NBA MVP and Finals MVP twice (2009, 2010). He famously scored the second-most points in a single game in NBA history (81), led the NBA in total points for four seasons (2003, 2006, 2007, 2008) and ranks fourth on the NBA’s career points list (33,643). Often celebrated for his offensive prowess, Bryant was also a nine-time NBA All-Defensive First Team member (2000, 2003, 2004, 2006-11). With USA Basketball, Bryant earned an Olympic gold medal in 2008 and 2012.
TIM DUNCAN [Player] - Duncan is a 15-time NBA All-Star (1998, 2000-11, 2013, 2015) and an eight-time member of the NBA All-Defensive First Team (1999-2003, 2005, 2007, 2008). He is also a five-time NBA Champion with the San Antonio Spurs (1999, 2003, 2005, 2007, 2014), having earned Finals MVP three times (1999, 2003, 2005). In 2002 and 2003, he was named NBA MVP and in 1998 he won Rookie of the Year. Duncan is the only player in NBA history with 1,000 or more wins with one team, which he amassed in his 19 years with the Spurs. He is ranked in the top 10 for NBA all-time rebounds and blocks leaders. As a college athlete at Wake Forest, Duncan earned ACC Player of the Year and was a unanimous First Team All-American in 1996 and 1997. In 1997, he also collected the Wooden, Naismith, Rupp, and Oscar Robertson Awards, while being named AP College Player of the Year.
KEVIN GARNETT [Player] – Garnett is a 15-time NBA All-Star (1997-1998, 2000-11, 2013) and 2008 NBA Champion with the Boston Celtics widely regarded for his passion and intensity on the court. A nine-time NBA All-Defensive First Team selection (2000-05, 2008-09, 2011), he led the league in rebounds for four consecutive seasons (2004-2007) and was named Defensive Player of the Year in 2008. While playing for the Minnesota Timberwolves in 2004, Garnett led the league in total points, field goals made and total rebounds while earning NBA MVP. He is ranked ninth in NBA’s all-time leaders for rebounds. With USA Basketball, Garnett earned an Olympic gold medal in 2000. Garnett played 21 NBA seasons and is currently ranked fourth in all-time minutes played (50,418).
EDDIE SUTTON [Coach] – Sutton is a four-time National Coach of the Year (1977, 1978, 1986, 1995), eight-time Conference Coach of the Year (1975, 1977, 1979, 1981, 1986, 1993, 1998, 2004) and the first coach in NCAA history to lead four different schools in the NCAA Tournament. Sutton ranks in the top ten among Division I coaches in all-time victories and has recorded only one losing season in 37 years of coaching. He coached Oklahoma State University from 1991-2006 and tied the conference record for wins by a first-year coach with 24. Collectively, Sutton guided his teams to three Final Fours, six Elite Eights and 12 Sweet Sixteen appearances.
RUDY TOMJANOVICH [Coach] – Tomjanovich spent 34 consecutive seasons with the Houston Rockets organization as a player (1970-1982), assistant coach (1983-1992) and head coach (1992-2003). He was named The Sporting News NBA Coach of the Year in 1993. He is the only person in NBA history to score 10,000 career points as a player and win 500 career games with two championships as a coach. Tomjanovich led the Rockets to NBA Championships in 1994 and 1995 and is one of three coaches to win an NBA championship and an Olympic gold medal. He led USA Basketball to a gold medal in the 2000 Olympics in Sydney, Australia.
Women’s Committee Finalists:
TAMIKA CATCHINGS [Player] – Catchings is a 10-time WNBA All-Star (2002, 2003, 2005-2007, 2009, 2011, 2013-2015) and four-time Olympic gold medalist (2004, 2008, 2012, 2016). After winning WNBA MVP in 2011, she led the Indiana Fever to a WNBA Championship in 2012 while collecting WNBA Finals MVP honors. She played her entire 14-year WNBA career with the Fever, while being named WNBA Defensive Player of the Year five times (2005, 2006, 2009, 2010, 2012) and Rookie of the Year in 2002. As the WNBA all-time steals leader, Catchings was named a member of the WNBA Top 20 Players in the league’s 20-year history in 2016. With Pat Summitt’s Lady Vols, Catchings won a national championship in 1998 and was named a four-time Kodak First Team All-American (1998, 1999, 2000, 2001), as well as the consensus National Player of the Year in 2000.
KIM MULKEY [Coach] – Mulkey has led the Baylor Bears to three NCAA National Championships (2005, 2012, 2019) and ranks third all-time among head coaches in win percentage. In 2012, Mulkey was named the Consensus National College Coach of the Year earning the Naismith Coach of the Year, Associated Press College Basketball Coach of the Year, WBCA National Coach of the Year and USBWA National Coach of the Year. As the head coach of Baylor since 2000, she has guided her team to 17 NCAA Tournament appearances including 13 Sweet Sixteens, eight Elite Eights and four Final Four appearances. Her Baylor squad has also won 10 Big 12 regular season championships (2005, 2011-2019) and 10 Big 12 Tournament championships (2005, 2009, 2011-2016, 2018), earning her Big 12 Coach of the Year honors seven times (2005, 2011- 2013, 2015, 2018-2019). Mulkey is the first person, male or female, to win a national championship as a player, assistant coach and head coach.
BARBARA STEVENS [Coach] – Coaching in the collegiate ranks for over 40 years, Stevens is the fifth coach in NCAA women’s basketball history to reach 1,000 career wins. She has been named the Russell Athletic / WBCA Division II National Coach of the Year five times (1992, 1999, 2001, 2013, 2014) and Northeast-10 Coach of the Year 15 times (1988, 1989, 1991-1993, 1996-2001, 2003, 2011, 2014, 2018). As the head coach of Bentley University since 1986, she has guided her team to 22 25-win seasons and 10 trips to the Division II Fab Four, including a national championship in 2014. Stevens has been inducted into the New England Basketball Hall of Fame (2002) and Women’s Basketball Hall of Fame (2006).