Tim Duncan

Basketball Hall of Fame's 2020 induction ceremony moved to 2021 due to COVID-19

Basketball Hall of Fame's 2020 induction ceremony moved to 2021 due to COVID-19

The Naismith Basketball Hall of Fame typically inducts its new class every August, but due to the COVID-19 pandemic, this year's ceremony will be pushed back to next year.

The Hall of Fame's board of governors chairman, Jerry Colangelo, confirmed the news to ESPN's Jackie MacMullan.

Here's more from MacMullan: 

Colangelo said the original dates of enshrinement weekend, Aug. 28-30, and the proposed alternate dates of Oct. 10-12, are "just not feasible" in light of the coronavirus pandemic that has killed more than 100,000 in the U.S. and has rendered large gatherings taboo. The board of governors will convene on June 10, he said, to explore spring dates.

Colangelo also noted the 2020 and 2021 Hall of Fame classes will have their own induction ceremonies.

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"We won't be combining them," Colangelo told MacMullan. "The Class of 2020 is a very special class and deserves its own celebration."

He's definitely right about the 2020 class. It's a particularly special one, mostly because of the NBA legends who were voted to be inducted.

The class is headlined by Tim Duncan, Kevin Garnett and the late Kobe Bryant. It's arguably the greatest Hall of Fame class in history, one that includes three of the top 15 to 20 players of all-time who combined to win 11 NBA championships and four league MVP awards.

While it's disappointing that fans will have to wait until next year to see the 2020 class enter the Hall of Fame, delaying the ceremony absolutely is the right decision to ensure the safety of everyone involved.

Tim Duncan in green? Spurs rebuffed Celtics' trade proposal after NBA Draft Lottery

Tim Duncan in green? Spurs rebuffed Celtics' trade proposal after NBA Draft Lottery

Twenty-three years after the ping pong balls defied the Boston Celtics in the 1997 NBA Draft lottery, M.L. Carr contends the most painful moment came a short while after the San Antonio Spurs vaulted to the No. 1 pick.

Carr, representing the Celtics despite having been replaced as both the head of basketball operations and head coach by Rick Pitino, was on stage in Secaucus, N.J., when Boston saw its logo appear in envelopes representing picks Nos. 3 and 6.

While the Spurs were still basking in the glow of their leap that would soon deliver Tim Duncan and kickstart their own title run, Carr got sent an impossible task.

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"We worked very hard to put the team in position to get, potentially, the first pick. It didn’t happen. When it didn’t happen, obviously there was disappointment,” Carr said Monday on the anniversary of the defiant ping pong balls. “We came up with the third pick. I got a call from the folks in Boston, the Pitino group, asking, ‘Could we give picks to [Spurs coach and president of basketball operations Gregg] Popovich and ask him if he would trade the first pick for a couple — like third and six. And, obviously, you gotta do it; it’s what they asked.”

So Carr engaged the Spurs contingent, despite knowing full well what the answer to his query would be.

"I went to Popovich, he felt sorry that I even had to ask,” said Carr. "Because I knew right then, to get Tim Duncan away from San Antonio, we’d have to give them the Prudential Center, all the money on the Mass Pike, you’d have to give them all of the North End, you’d have to give them all the suburbs, and probably the Callahan Tunnel revenue, as well as the Ted Williams revenue for the next 40-50 years. And it still probably wouldn’t have been enough to give it up.

It was a stupid question. A stupid question you have to ask, and Popovich knew it so he said, ‘No, we think we’re going to hold onto it.’ I had to do it.

Not even the ever positive Carr, famous for his emphatic towel waving during his playing days while winning two titles in the early 80s, could put a positive spin on missing out on Duncan.

“It was a bad moment for the Celtics. Because we we had the best opportunity with the ping pong balls and it went the other way,” said Carr. "It would have been great to have Timmy because there would have been more banners flying, I’m sure.”

Needless to say, you won’t see the 1997 lottery ceremony on NBC Sports Boston’s Classic Celtics series anytime soon. Told, though, that a new generation of Celtics fans are being exposed to Carr and those 80s Celtics team because of the classic games, Carr playfully admitted that’s actually a negative for him.

"The only problem I have with the old games coming up and classic sports is that I have to be truthful to my five grandkids. I can’t tell them I was the best player on the Celtics because they’re looking and saying, ‘Pop Pop, Larry Bird looks like he might have been better than you,’” said Carr with a laugh. "And I can’t tell them I’m the best player to come out of Wallace, [North Carolina] because they may look at ["The Last Dance" documentary] and say, ‘Michael Jordan, yeah, I think he’s better, too, Pop Pop.’

"I’ve gotta be honest and tell them I was just happy to be on the team.”

 

How Kevin Garnett, Kobe Bryant, and Tim Duncan owned the 2000s

How Kevin Garnett, Kobe Bryant, and Tim Duncan owned the 2000s

It doesn't get much better than this year's Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame class.

Former Boston Celtics star Kevin Garnett headlines the 2020 group along with Los Angeles Lakers legend Kobe Bryant and San Antonio Spurs great Tim Duncan. It goes without saying that the trio of Hall of Famers dominated the 2000s, but one stat really puts that dominance into perspective.

In his latest "Haberstat," NBC Sports' NBA insider Tom Haberstroh uses the number 12 to sum up just how unstoppable KG, Bryant, and Duncan were throughout the prime of their respective careers.

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"So how good is this Springfield class? You can start with the fact that it's the first-class with three former MVPs. Or the fact that all three are NBA champions. But perhaps this shows the greatness of the 2020 class best," Haberstroh says.

"From 1999 to 2010, Kobe, Tim, and KG, ruled the NBA in such a way that they either won a title, a scoring title, or MVP in each of those 12 seasons. The three all-time greats took turns winning 10 of the 12 championships over that time and in the two gaps, Kobe won the scoring title in '06, and KG won the MVP in '04. That is sheer greatness."

Watch below:

On top of his '04 NBA MVP award and his '08 championship with the Celtics, Garnett was a 15-time All-Star, four-time All-NBA First Team, nine-time All-Defensive First Team, and the '08 Defensive Player of the Year.

The definition of a slam-dunk Hall of Famer.