Kobe Bryant, Tim Duncan, Kevin Garnett and Chris Bosh headline a stellar 2020 class of potential inductees into the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame.
Those four — who combined for 13 NBA championships, three Most Valuable Player awards, six NBA Finals MVP awards, 59 All-Star appearances and 40 All-NBA selections — are the leading names on the list of 50 people nominated by the North American Committee for enshrinement next year.
The finalists will be announced during All-Star Weekend in Chicago in February, with the inductees being unveiled during the Final Four in Atlanta in April.
In addition to Bryant, Duncan, Garnett and Bosh, other players nominated for the first time this year include Shawn Marion, Michael Finley, Mark Eaton and Buck Williams. Meanwhile, Chauncey Billups, Mark Jackson, Tim Hardaway, Richard Hamilton, Chris Webber, Ben Wallace and Marcus Camby are among those on the ballot who have been nominated multiple times.
The class, though, will be led by the four stars at the top of it.
Bryant spent his entire 20-year career with the Los Angeles Lakers, partnering with first Shaquille O’Neal and then Pau Gasol to claim five titles and reach seven NBA Finals, all while becoming one of the most prolific scorers in NBA history.
Duncan also spent his entire career with a single franchise, playing 19 seasons for the San Antonio Spurs under coach Gregg Popovich and alongside David Robinson, Tony Parker, Manu Ginobili and Kawhi Leonard.
Garnett, meanwhile, helped usher in the current era of the NBA by agreeing in the summer of 2007 to join Ray Allen and Paul Pierce with the Boston Celtics after spending the first 12 years of his career playing for the Minnesota Timberwolves.
The Celtics would go on to win the NBA title in 2008 and reach the NBA Finals in 2010, where they lost in seven games to Bryant and the Lakers. Their dominance over the Eastern Conference then helped spur Bosh, LeBron James and Dwyane Wade to play together with the Miami Heat starting in 2010.
After winning two titles and reaching the NBA Finals each of the next four seasons with the Heat, Bosh’s career was then derailed by recurring issues with blood clots, forcing him to retire in 2016 while still at the peak of his game.
There are plenty of other starry names on the list, too. Coaches nominated include Rick Adelman, George Karl, Dick Motta and Rudy Tomjanovich from the professional ranks, and Gene Keady, Rollie Massimino, Bob McKillop, Eddie Sutton, Bo Ryan and Jay Wright on the college side.
Women’s nominations include first-timers Swin Cash and Tamika Catchings, along with current San Antonio Spurs assistant coach Becky Hammon and Baylor coach Kim Mulkey, who is nominated both as a coach and player.
Former Chicago Bulls star Toni Kukoc heads the list of international honorees.
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