Hello everyone! This piece discusses the impact and top moments from the 2020 Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame Class. Enjoy, and please share it with your friends!
Career Highlights: 5x NBA Champion, 3x Finals MVP, 2x NBA MVP, 15x All-Star, 15x All-NBA selection, 1998 Rookie of the Year, 2x ACC Player of the Year
One of the more underrated superstars ever, Duncan spent the entirety of his 19-year NBA career in San Antonio. The #1 overall pick in 1997, he immediately joined a playoff contender led by Hall of Fame big man David Robinson, who’d been injured for the majority of the previous season.
Duncan’s arrival provided insurance in the event that Robinson succumbed to injury again, and helped bridge the gap between eras. Fortunately for the Spurs, his impact was felt early.
Duncan averaged 21 points, 12 boards, and 2 blocks en route to Rookie of the Year honors in 1998. The following season, San Antonio won its first NBA championship over the New York Knicks. Duncan would capture Finals MVP in the process.
He continued to improve. Duncan had his best statistical output in 2002, averaging 25 points, and 13 rebounds a night. He was awarded consecutive Most Valuable Player awards in 2002 & 2003.
My favorite memory of Duncan is in Game 6 of the 2003 NBA Finals. Up three games to two versus Jason Kidd and the New Jersey Nets, Duncan delivered a closeout game for the ages.
In the 88–77 win, Timmy went for 21 points, 20 rebounds, 10 dimes, and 8 rejections! He demolished the Net’s front line with his all-around play, resulting in his second NBA championship.
Tim Duncan will be remembered as a model of consistency and the ultimate winner. He’s the most humble superstar of his generation, as he always sacrificed for the better of the team.
The best power forward in NBA history, Duncan’s induction to the Hall couldn’t have come soon enough. Congratulations Tim!
Click below to watch Duncan’s highlights from Game 6 of the 2003 NBA Finals.
Career Highlights: 2008 NBA Champion, 2004 NBA MVP, 15x All-Star, 9x All-NBA selection, 2008 DPOY, 1995 Mr. Basketball USA
The most versatile, emotional player of all time, Kevin Garnett was ahead of the competition. His ability to space the floor as a jump-shooter, finish aggressively around the basket, and protect the rim led his team to victories.
Drafted from high school, Garnett was selected 5th overall by the Minnesota Timberwolves in 1995. After a quiet rookie season, Garnett averaged 17 points, 8 boards, and 2 blocks as a sophomore, guiding Minnesota to its first-ever playoff berth.
Next, the Wolves would enjoy their best stretch in franchise history: eight straight playoff appearances from 1997–2004. That final postseason run, in 2004, was Kevin’s top individual season.
Minnesota won a franchise-record 58 games and advanced to their only conference final appearance that season. They would fall to the L.A. in six games.
Playing alongside vets Sam Cassell and Latrell Sprewell, Garnett captured the 2004 Most Valuable Player award. His two-way play contributed to the Wolves’ success and was on display when needed most.
In Game 7 of the semifinals versus the Sacramento Kings, Kevin produces a historical stat line in the must-win situation. On his 28th birthday, he recorded 32 points, 21 rebounds, 5 blocks, and helped Minny advance.
Following the 2004 campaign, Garnett wouldn’t reach the postseason until 2008. That year, he won the Defensive Player of the Year award, as well as his first NBA championship. To conclude his career, he would reach the All-Star game four more times before retiring.
Garnett will be remembered as a top-tier competitor that always left it out on the court, and played with heart during each game. Congratulations on the induction Kevin!
Click below to watch Garnett’s highlights from Game 7 of the 2004 Western Conference semifinals.
Career Highlights: 5x NBA Champion, 2x Finals MVP, 2008 NBA MVP, 18x All-Star, 15x All-NBA selection, 2x Scoring Champion, 1996 Naismith Prep Player of the Year
The late, great, Kobe Bean Bryant. One of the most successful athletes ever, Bryant, his daughter Gigi, and seven others unfortunately passed late January in a helicopter crash.
Already a no-brainer Hall of Fame selection, the Hall elected to induct Bryant in 2020, to honor his life, and thank him for the mark he left on the game.
Bryant impacted a generation of athletes throughout the duration of his 20-year NBA career. He had an unbelievable work ethic, and a drive to become the best basketball player of all-time.
Off the court, Bryant was a loving husband and father to his wife Vanessa and their three daughters. He also served as a mentor to several of the top players across the association.
Bryant may be gone, but he’ll be remembered for his stellar achievements and contributions during his time on this earth. Congratulations on the induction Kobe!
Click below to watch Bryant’s highlights from his final NBA game!
REST OF CLASS
This rest of this year’s class features a bevy of talented individuals across the basketball world. It includes:
- Tamika Catchings: 10-time WNBA All-Star, 2011 WNBA MVP, 5-time DPOY
- Rudy Tomjanovich: 5-time NBA All-Star, 2-time NBA championship as a coach
- Kim Mulkey: Baylor women’s head coach, 7-time Big-12 COY, 3-time National Champ
The 2020 Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame Class will go down as one of the deepest classes ever. Each inductee left their mark on the game in one way or another. Rest in peace to inductees Kobe Bryant and Patrick Baumann. And congratulations to the Class of 2020!
If you made it to the end, thank you so much for reading. Leave a comment if you enjoyed this piece. And please, share this with your friends!
*Special shoutout to Ziera, Marcel, Ashanti, Roki, and Anyelina.
(Originally posted April 9, 2020 on Medium. Edited May 23, 2020 on WordPress.)