CHICAGO — In one of the expected Naismith Memorial Basketball Corridor of Popularity categories in years, Kobe Bryant, Kevin Garnett and Tim Duncan headline the finalists up for induction in August.
The finalists have been introduced on Friday at NBA All-Celebrity Weekend, and Corridor of Popularity chairman Jerry Colangelo stated they saved the category small this 12 months as a result of the magnitude of the avid gamers who’re anticipated to achieve the Corridor. Colangelo stated that was once the plan earlier than Kobe Bryant’s demise.
“Once we met in Dallas after his demise, we needed to maintain that, and the way in which we dealt (with) it’s that we weren’t going to put up a large number of names,” Colangelo stated. “We have been going to make it a small elegance. We wish everybody to get their due, and that’s necessary and delicate.”
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The other finalists: former WNBA start Tamika Catchings, Baylor women’s coach Kim Mulkey, Bentley University women’s coach Barbara Stevens and former NBA coach Rudy Tomjanovich.
Earning induction requires 18 of 24 votes from the selection committee. The inductees will be announced during the Final Four in April, and it is expected Bryant, Garnett and Duncan will be on that list.
To keep the class small, the Hall of Fame has suspended three direct election categories – Men’s and Women’s Veterans Committees, the Early African American Pioneer Committee, and the Contributor Committee – for one year. The International Committee will still induct a direct-elect candidate.
Usually, Garnett showed his emotions with his on-court intensity and colorful language. This time, the former Celtics and Timberwolves forward showed his emotions in a different way.
This weekend, Garnett learned he would be one of the eight finalists for this year’s Naismith Memorial Hall of Fame and that the Celtics would retire his No. 5 jersey next season.
“Everything stopped if I’m being honest,” Garnett said. “It hit home to why we’re all here. It’s going to feel real at some point because it hasn’t. Today it made it feel real.”
Garnett admitted feeling extra emotional after seeing a video that announced the late Kobe Bryant as one of the finalists. Yet, he showed a hint of annoyance when asked about his favorite Bryant memories before walking away.
Though Garnett was known for his competitive matchups with Bryant in the 2008 and 2010 NBA Finals, the former Celtics forward talked more at length about Bryant in an upcoming “All the Smoke” podcast with former NBA avid gamers Matt Barnes and Stephen Jackson.
As for Garnett’s upcoming jersey retirement, that can mark the 24th time the Celtics hung a former avid gamers’ jersey within the Lawn rafters. The Celtics maximum just lately retired Paul Pierce’s No. 34 throughout the 2017-18 season.
“Each time you get your quantity retired that’s earned,” Garnett stated. “I’m very appreciative of Boston possession and them spotting that. I advised them I don’t want the Paul Pierce rite. I’ll stay it actual easy. However I’m very appreciative of them spotting.”
ESPN’s Michael Wilbon and Mike Breen have been named the 2020 Curt Gowdy Media Award recipients and shall be known within the Corridor for the contributions to print and digital media.