Hall Of Fame

Chris Bosh, Paul Pierce, Rick Adelman Among 2021 Hall Of Fame Finalists

The Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame has announced 14 finalists for the Class of 2021 election, according to a press release. These nine players and five coaches are the candidates to be named Hall-of-Famers when this year’s class is announced on May 16.

This year’s finalists are as follows:

Players:

Coaches:

Hardaway, Johnson, Wallace, Webber, and Andrews have been finalists in the past and are receiving consideration again this year. The other nine are first-time finalists, though Russell has – of course – already been inducted into the Hall of Fame as a player.

Among this year’s first-time finalists, Bosh, Pierce, and Adelman are a few of the most interesting names. Bosh earned 11 All-Star nods and won a pair of NBA championships before a blood-clotting issue cut his career short. Pierce made 10 All-Star teams and won a title (and a Finals MVP award) over the course of his 19 NBA seasons. Adelman, meanwhile, is the ninth-winningest coach in NBA history, with an all-time regular season record of 1,042-749 (.582).

Due to the coronavirus, 2020’s Hall of Fame induction ceremony couldn’t be held as planned last year and has been rescheduled for May 14-16. The Class of 2020 includes Kevin Garnett, Tim Duncan, and the late Kobe Bryant.

The ceremony for the Class of 2021 is scheduled to take place in September 2021, following May’s announcement of the inductees.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

And-Ones: Hall Of Fame Nominees, G League, Extensions, More

Longtime Celtics forward Paul Pierce and former NBA player and head coach Doug Collins are among those eligible for the first time to be inducted into the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame, writes ESPN’s Royce Young.

Pierce and Collins are joined as this year’s first-time nominees by former Defensive Player of the Year Michael Cooper and three-time WNBA Most Valuable Player Lauren Jackson, along with Howard Garfinkel, Lou Henson, Val Ackerman, and Yolanda Griffith. Those new nominees will be added to a list of returning candidates that includes Chauncey Billups, Chris Bosh, and Becky Hammon, among others.

While the 2020 Hall of Fame class – headlined by Kobe Bryant, Tim Duncan, and Kevin Garnett – won’t be enshrined until May due to coronavirus-related delays, the 2021 class is scheduled to be unveiled in early April, with a September induction ceremony to follow.

Here are more odds and ends from around the basketball world:

  • Stefan Bondy of The New York Daily News (Twitter link) hears from a source that the NBA G League may be targeting February 8 for the start of its shortened season. Training camps would begin at a bubble site – possibly in Atlanta – on January 29 in that scenario, Bondy adds.
  • ESPN’s Bobby Marks (Insider link) examines what’s next for the players who didn’t sign rookie scale extensions on Monday and takes a look at some players who will still be candidates for veteran extensions during the season, including new Bucks guard Jrue Holiday and Rockets forward P.J. Tucker.
  • The NBA’s decision to rescind the Bucks‘ 2022 second-round pick after finding evidence that they jumped the gun on negotiations with Bogdan Bogdanovic last month is a relative slap on the wrist, but still represents a noticeable step up over past penalties for tampering, Jared Weiss writes for The Athletic. The league made it a priority starting in 2019 to crack down on such violations.
  • Basketball junkies will enjoy the 2020/21 version of Niku Mistry’s annual NBA Almanac, a 300-page guide that recaps last season’s results – along with each offseason transaction – and includes team-by-team breakdowns for the coming year.

Hall Of Fame Ceremony Rescheduled To May 2021

The 2020 Basketball Hall of Fame enshrinement ceremony, originally scheduled to take place during the weekend of August 28-30, has been rescheduled and will now occur on May 13-15, 2021, according to a press release.

This year’s star-studded class of Hall of Fame inductees is headed by Tim Duncan, Kevin Garnett, and the late Kobe Bryant. Former Rockets coach Rudy Tomjanovich, former college coach Eddie Sutton, longtime WNBA star Tamika Catchings, former FIBA and IOC executive Patrick Baumann, and veteran women’s basketball coaches Kim Mulkey and Barbara Stevens are also part of the 2020 class.

However, instead of being formally inducted into the Hall later this month, the 2020 class will be enshrined in the spring of 2021. And in addition to necessitating a postponement, the coronavirus pandemic has forced the Hall of Fame to change venues for its ceremony, per today’s announcement.

“For this single event, and only because of the pandemic, we will relocate the entire event one time to Mohegan Sun which has been a long-time marketing partner of the Hall,” Hall of Fame president/CEO John Doleva said in a statement. “Mohegan Sun has shown they can effectively operate a ‘near-bubble’ for our event which provides a more secure environment for our guests.”

The postponement of this year’s ceremony and diminished guest visitation at the Hall of Fame in Springfield has forced the Hall to make layoffs and to reduce some senior employees’ pay, Doleva added in his statement.

The chairman of the Hall’s board of governors, Jerry Colangelo, suggested back in May that the plan remains for the 2020 and 2021 Hall of Fame classes to be enshrined in two separate ceremonies, despite the fact that this year’s class will now be formally inducted in ’21.

2020 Hall Of Fame Ceremony To Be Delayed Until 2021

The 2020 Basketball Hall of Fame enshrinement ceremony won’t take place this August, as initially planned. Due to the coronavirus pandemic, the ceremony will tentatively be pushed back to the spring of 2021, according to the chairman of the Hall’s board of governors, Jerry Colangelo (story via Jackie MacMullan of ESPN).

This year’s star-studded class of Hall of Fame inductees is headed by Tim Duncan, Kevin Garnett, and the late Kobe Bryant. Former Rockets coach Rudy Tomjanovich, former college coach Eddie Sutton, longtime WNBA star Tamika Catchings, former FIBA and IOC executive Patrick Baumann, and veteran women’s basketball coaches Kim Mulkey and Barbara Stevens are also part of the 2020 class.

The induction ceremony for the nine new members of the Hall had been scheduled for the weekend of August 28-30, with proposed alternate dates of October 10-12. However, Colangelo tells MacMullan that those dates are “just not feasible” due to COVID-19’s impact on large gatherings.

“We’re definitely canceling,” Colangelo said to ESPN. “It’s going to have to be the first quarter of next year. We’ll meet in a couple of weeks and look at the options of how and when and where.”

Despite the delay, Colangelo made it clear that the Basketball Hall of Fame doesn’t intend to eventually merge the 2020 class with its 2021 class, which figures to be announced next spring — the plan is still to hold two separate ceremonies.

“We won’t be combining them,” Colangelo said. “The Class of 2020 is a very special class and deserves its own celebration.”

Coronavirus Notes: Resuming The Season, Hall Of Fame, Ewing

Several teams that are unable to open their facilities because of government restrictions are asking the NBA if their players can report directly to the proposed campus environment, according to ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski. Sources tell Woj that the NBA is willing to work out an arrangement with those teams. Franchises located in areas where stay-at-home orders are still in effect have a large number of players who have gone elsewhere, he adds.

A timetable and other specifics to resume the season are expected to be outlined in a Board of Governors call on Friday. Sources tell Wojnarowski that teams expect to be told to begin recalling players to their markets around June 1. A few teams have talked about establishing temporary training camps at other sites before arriving in Orlando, which is now considered the likely location to finish the season.

There’s more coronavirus-related news to pass along:

  • During a conference call on Thursday, the league offered few specifics about how it plans to finish the season, Wojnarowski writes in the same story. Some Board of Governors members believe the league would prefer not to bring back all 30 teams because placing more people in the bubble environment means a greater opportunity of contracting the virus. Also, there was little support for a scenario that would provide a chance to make the playoffs for the league’s worst teams. Privately, Woj states, those teams are more concerned with preserving their odds for the draft lottery and don’t want to risk injuries to their veteran players.
  • This year’s induction ceremony at the Naismith Memorial Hall of Fame is still set for August 29, but two other dates are being considered if the virus is still prevalent, writes Gary Washburn of The Boston Globe. Hall officials are willing to move the ceremony to Columbus Day weekend or to next spring. No matter what happens, the 2020 and 2021 inductions will not be combined. “I do want to make it very clear we will have a separate event for the class of 2020 because of the notoriety of that class and, frankly, every class deserves its own recognition,” CEO John Doleva said. “There is a potential next calendar year that we could have two enshrinements.”
  • Former Knicks star Patrick Ewing, now the head coach at Georgetown, has tested positive for COVID-19, according to Jeff Borzello of ESPN. Ewing issued a statement urging everyone to “stay safe and take care of yourselves and your loved ones.”

And-Ones: Batiste, Hall Of Fame, Cotton, Gatwech

Magic assistant coach Mike Batiste shot down a rumor that he’s returning to Europe to coach Greece’s Panathinaikos, Ennio Terrasi Borghesan of Sportando relays. Batiste, who was a star player for the EuroLeague team, said on Greek radio’s ERA Sport he’s staying in Orlando. “No one has contacted me, these are rumors. I have a two-year contract and I will honor it, when I’m done with that I don’t know what will happen,” Batiste said.

We have more from around the basketball world:

  • The Basketball Hall of Fame remains hopeful in can hold the induction ceremony for this year’s class as scheduled in late August, Marc Stein of the New York Times tweets. This year’s class has nine inductees, including the late Kobe Bryant, Tim Duncan and Kevin Garnett.
  • Australia NBL MVP and former NBA player Bryce Cotton has opted out of his deal with the Perth Wildcats, Olgun Uluc of ESPN reports. The NBL and its players agreed to a tiered system of pay cuts and the highest-salaried players are having their pay cut in half.  The agreement allowed players to opt out of their contracts before May 4, with the Wildcats holding Cotton’s domestic rights. Cotton, who appeared in 23 NBA games before heading to Australia, is being pursued by European teams Panathinaikos and Asvel, according to Emiliano Carchia of Sportando.
  • Jimma Gatwech had his name pulled from the NBA draft, but will pursue other pro opportunities in 2020/21, Evan Daniels of 247Sports tweets. Gatwech, 19, spend the past year at CORE4 Academy in Atlanta.

Bryant, Garnett, Duncan Joined By Six Others In Hall Class

Kobe Bryant, Kevin Garnett and Tim Duncan have officially been named to the Naismith Hall of Fame Class of 2020, Tim Bontemps of ESPN tweets. They are joined by Rudy Tomjanovich, Eddie Sutton, long-time WNBA star Tamika Catchings, Kim Mulkey, Barbara Stevens and Patrick Baumann, Bontemps adds.

In essence, every finalist for Hall of Fame consideration this year received enough votes for induction. A finalist needs 18 of 24 votes from the Honors Committee for election into the Basketball Hall of Fame.

Word leaked on Friday that Bryant, Garnett, Duncan and Tomjanovich would be inducted, though it was a foregone conclusion that the late Bryant, Garnett and Duncan — three of the game’s all-time greats — would received the required votes.

Bryant was an 18-time All-Star and five-time NBA champion, winning the MVP award in 2008 to go along with a pair of Finals MVPs. He is fourth on the league’s all-time scoring list and won scoring titles in 2006 and 2007.

Duncan won three Finals MVPs and five titles in total. Like Bryant, he was named to an All-NBA team 15 times over the course of his career. The longtime Spurs‘ big man was one of the best players of his era, ranking sixth on the NBA’s all-time rebounding list and fifth in blocked shots.

Garnett earned 15 All-Star nods, an MVP award (in 2004), a Defensive Player of the Year award (2008), and a title in 2008 with the Celtics. Garnett, who began his career with the Timberwolves, ranks in the NBA’s top 20 in career points, rebounds, blocks, and steals.

Tomjanovich is one of just three coaches to win both an NBA championship and an Olympic gold medal. He coached the Rockets to a pair of championships in the mid-1990s and had an impressive career as a Rockets player prior to his coaching days, earning five NBA All-Star nods in his 11-year career.

Sutton is a four-time National Coach of the Year and was the first coach to lead four different schools to the NCAA Tournament.

Catchings is a 10-time WNBA All-Star and four-time Olympic gold medalist. She was also named WNBA MVP in 2011. Mulkey has coached Baylor to three NCAA national championships, including last season. Stevens has coached in the collegiate ranks for over 40 years and is the fifth coach in NCAA women’s basketball history to reach 1,000 career wins. Baumann is a longtime FIBA executive.

It remains to be seen if this year’s induction ceremony will take place as scheduled on August 29 in Springfield, Massachusetts.

And-Ones: CP3, Griffin, I. Thomas, Hall Of Fame

A number of reports both during and after the Lob City era in Los Angeles suggested that Clippers stars Blake Griffin and Chris Paul had a tendency to rub one another the wrong way and weren’t exactly the best of friends by the time CP3 was traded to Houston.

However, appearing on the Up in Smoke Podcast with Matt Barnes and Stephen Jackson, Paul admitted that he gained a renewed fondness for Griffin after his days with the Clippers were over.

“It’s seriously one of those things you don’t realize what you have until it’s gone,” Paul said, per Kurt Helin of NBC Sports. “I think about it at times. And me and Blake absolutely had our issues here and there, but I actually appreciated Blake probably a lot more after I left.”

Here are more odds and ends from around the basketball world:

  • Isaiah Thomas, who recently expressed confidence that he’ll have no problem finding an NBA job for next season, told NBC Sports Washington’s Chris Miller on the Wizards Talk Podcast that he wants to play for many more years. “I have a lot left in the tank and my goal has always been to play until 40 (years old), and I’m going to try everything I can to reach that,” the 31-year-old guard said.
  • With the Basketball Hall of Fame scheduled to officially announce its 2020 class on Saturday, an ESPN panel identified the most likely Hall-of-Famer on every NBA team’s current roster.
  • Which current NBA front office executives look like candidates to take on greater roles in the not-too-distant future? Stefan Bondy of The New York Daily News spoke to multiple sources in an attempt to compile a list of the rising and overlooked executives from around the league, ranging from current general managers and assistant GMs to scouts and G League execs.

Kobe, Duncan, Garnett, Tomjanovich To Be Inducted Into Hall Of Fame

Former NBA stars Kobe Bryant, Tim Duncan, and Kevin Garnett will be inducted into the Naismith Basketball Hall of Fame, reports Shams Charania of The Athletic (via Twitter).

This year’s Hall of Fame induction ceremony figures to be an emotional affair, with Bryant headlining the 2020 class just months after his tragic passing. The Lakers‘ legend was an 18-time All-Star and five-time NBA champion, winning the MVP award in 2008 to go along with a pair of Finals MVPs. He is fourth on the league’s all-time scoring list and won scoring titles in 2006 and 2007.

Bryant will be joined by a pair of fellow NBA champions, including Duncan, who won three Finals MVPs and five titles in total. Like Bryant, he was named to an All-NBA team 15 times over the course of his career. The longtime Spurs‘ big man was one of the best players of his era, ranking sixth on the NBA’s all-time rebounding list and fifth in blocked shots.

While Garnett’s résumé isn’t quite as decorated as that of Bryant and Duncan, he earned 15 All-Star nods, an MVP award (in 2004), a Defensive Player of the Year award (2008), and a title in 2008 with the Celtics. Garnett, who began his career with the Timberwolves, ranks in the NBA’s top 20 in career points, rebounds, blocks, and steals.

Bryant, Duncan, and Garnett may be this year’s headliners, but they aren’t the only ones being inducted into the Hall of Fame. According to Mark Berman of FOX 26 Houston (Twitter link), former Rockets head coach Rudy Tomjanovich has also been elected.

Tomjanovich is one of just three coaches to win both an NBA championship and an Olympic gold medal. He coached Houston to a pair of championships in the mid-1990s and had an impressive career as a Rockets player prior to his coaching days, earning five NBA All-Star nods in his 11-year career.

Tamika Catchings, Kim Mulkey, Eddie Sutton, and Barbara Stevens were announced as Hall of Fame finalists in February — it’s unclear if anyone from that group will be inducted into the 2020 class alongside Bryant, Duncan, Garnett, and Tomjanovich. The official announcement will happen on Saturday.

It remains to be seen what form this year’s induction ceremony will take. It’s scheduled to happen on August 29 in Springfield, Massachusetts, but there’s no guarantee that the coronavirus situation will have improved enough by then to hold large-scale gatherings.

Basketball Hall Of Fame Selects Eight Finalists

The Basketball Hall of Fame has selected eight finalists for the 2020 class. This year’s Hall-of-Famers will be officially announced in April. Let’s take a look at the candidates:

Kobe Bryant

Bryant, who tragically passed away late last month, helped the Lakers bring home five NBA championships. He took home the Finals MVP on two of those occasions. He was selected to 18 NBA All-Star games during his career in Los Angeles.

Tim Duncan

Duncan, who is currently an assistant coach with the Spurs, brought San Antonio five NBA championships during his time in the league. He won Finals MVP three times and was named to 15 All-Star games.

Kevin Garnett

Garnett won a championship upon arriving in Boston. Over the course of his career, the big man was named to 15 NBA All-Star games and nine All-Defensive First Teams. He played for the Wolves, Celtics, and Nets in his career.

Tamika Catchings

Catchings won a WNBA championship during her time with the Indiana Fever. She was selected to 10 WNBA All-Star games and won four Olympic Gold Medals for Team USA during her playing days.

Rudy Tomjanovich

Tomjanovich is just one of three coaches to win an NBA championship and an Olympic gold medal. He coached the Rockets to two championships in the early 90’s and had a nice career as a player prior to that, as he was selected to five NBA All-Star games.

Kim Mulkey

Mulkey is the first person to win a National Championship as a player, assistant coach, and head coach. She played point guard for Louisiana Tech in the early 80’s and has coached at both Louisiana Tech and Baylor.

Eddie Sutton

Sutton coached in the college ranks for 36 years. He was the coach of the year four times in his career and he took two different teams—Arkansas, Oklahoma State (2x)—to the Final Four.

Barbara Stevens

Stevens is only the fifth coach in NCAA women’s basketball history to achieve over 1,000 career wins. She has led Clark University, UMass, and Bentley throughout her coaching career.