According to sources close to Shams Charania of Stadium and The Athletic, basketball greats Kobe Bryant, Tim Duncan, and Kevin Garnett will headline the Naismith Basketball Hall of Fame Class of 2020.
All three players match the prerequisite criteria to be eligible for this special honor - a minimum of four seasons have passed since their last NBA game. The amount of star power those three combined with their respective careers is just incredible, which made the Naismith Hall of Fame Selection Committee suspend its direct election categories process.
After the tragic helicopter accident on January 26th, many of Kobe's close friends stepped forward and talked about how important it would be for Kobe to be inducted into the Naismith Basketball Hall of Fame.
Kobe's former teammate Shaquille O'Neal addressed this issue in the TV show 'Inside the NBA' in the days following Kobe's tragic departure.
"The fact that we're not gonna be able to joke at his Hall of Fame ceremony, we're not gonna be able to say, 'Haha, I got 5 (championships), you got 4,' the fact that we're not gonna be able to say, 'If we would've stayed together, we could've got 10' ... those were the things you can't get back."
During his 20-year stay with the team, Kobe led the Los Angeles Lakers to 5 NBA Championship titles, while also earning the All-Star berth an unbelievable 18 times!
And Kobe's list of accomplishments just go on and on and on - the Black Mamba was also the 2007-08 NBA MVP, he was twice voted as the NBA Finals MVP, he twice led the NBA in scoring and was voted to the NBA All-Defensive team nine times.
After joining the Minnesota Timberwolves directly from the high-school ranks in 1995. Kevin Garnet helped the franchise make eight consecutive postseason appearances (1997-2004). In 2004, the year when the Wolves reached the Western Conference Finals, KG was voted as 2003-04 NBA MVP.
Garnett was traded to Boston in 2007. There, he won his only NBA Championship title with the 2007 Celtics while also becoming the first player in NBA history to collect 25 000 points, 10 000 rebounds, 5000 assists, 1500 steals, and 1500 blocks.
Always remarkably calm and gentle, Tim Duncan had a brilliant 19-year NBA career with the San Antonio Spurs. Joining forces with center David Robinson, Duncan first won the 1997-98 NBA Rookie of The Year award before leading the Spurs to the 1998-99 NBA Championship title and being voted the NBA Finals MVP. All together, Duncan won five NBA Championship titles, three NBA Finals MVP titles, and back-to-back NBA MVP awards in 2002 and 2003.
According to sources former Houston Rockets head coach Rudy Tomjanovich( who won back-to-back NBA titles in 1994 and 1995) and Oklahoma State head coach Eddie Suttonwill also be inducted.
The formal announcement on the Naismith Basketball Hall of Fame inductees will be made on Saturday. Even though the ceremony is scheduled for August 28-30, there is already no doubt that it will be one of the most emotional ever.