It feels like we’ve been waiting for an eternity, but three of the greatest players in the history of the NBA—Kevin Garnett, Kobe Bryant and Tim Duncan—will finally be inducted into the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame in May 2021.
The festivities were originally scheduled to take place back in August, but because COVID-19 has pulled a Trump and refuses to GTFO, it was postponed indefinitely. However, ESPN reports that Hall of Fame weekend will now be going down from May 13-15.
Bryant, Duncan and Garnett — with a combined 48 All-Star Game selections and 11 NBA championships between them — were the headliners of the class that was announced in April. They all got into the Hall in their first year as finalists, as did WNBA great Tamika Catchings.
Others had to wait a bit longer for the Hall’s call: Two-time NBA champion coach Rudy Tomjanovich got in this year, as did longtime Baylor women’s coach Kim Mulkey, 1,000-game winner Barbara Stevens of Bentley and three-time Final Four coach Eddie Sutton.
Since retiring in 2016, Duncan went on to become an assistant coach for the San Antonio Spurs before stepping down from his full-time role earlier this month in order to take on player development duties, according to CBS Sports. Meanwhile, Garnett has kept himself occupied with a blossoming broadcast career and ownership pursuits in the professional sports.
Bryant, of course, lost his life in a tragic helicopter crash in January, which provided the Lakers with extra motivation to carry on his legacy by winning the organization’s 17th NBA championship this past season.
“The Lakers went down there on a mission,” Lakers legend Magic Johnson told Ellen DeGeneres in November. “They dedicated the season to Kobe Bryant and his beautiful daughter, who both passed away. They made Kobe very proud in heaven, and I’m sure he was just so happy with what the boys did […] winning the NBA championship.”
Kobe’s enshrinement into the Basketball Hall of Fame will be a memorable moment for sure, and the Twitter account Global Laker Fans just launched a petition to have fans deliver the five-time NBA champion’s induction speech themselves.
“This morning we tweeted about Kobe having a fan video at his hall of fame induction,” Global Laker Fans tweeted on Monday. “@KobeForever248 has kindly now set up a change.org [petition] to bring the idea to life!”
For hoop heads, Hall of Fame weekend can’t come soon enough.