A lot of NBA stars are worthy of the Hall of Fame, but the official NBA Hall of Fame Enshrinement ceremony gives higher status to a select class of players every year. The 2020 Class will have more emotion involved because of the induction of one key player.
Known formerly as the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame, the event captured a true gilded basketball age. The ceremony is named after the inventor of basketball: James Naismith. Hundreds of players have been inducted in Springfield, Massachusetts since it began in 1959. While no one can deny the names enshrined in the past, the 2020 Class is arguably overdue.
Who will be honored at the NBA Hall of Fame Enshrinement ceremony this year?
A name that should have been in the Hall of Fame much sooner is finally going in there: Kobe Bryant. Many would say he should have been inducted a decade ago, reports ESPN, giving more sadness now he no longer lives to see it happen. The tragedy of Bryant’s fatal helicopter accident earlier this year clearly precipitated this.
Other names joining him there for the first time include Tim Duncan, Kevin Garnett, Chris Bosh, Tamika Catchings, and Swin Cash. Of course, Duncan and Garnett are of Bryant’s generation, making it essentially a Top Three for the ceremony this summer.
One thing making this year’s ceremony different is the induction process was more streamlined. All finalists were cut in half from the usual amount, making this year’s ceremony a little more star-studded than normally seen.
Will the NBA Hall of Fame still be held in the wake of COVID-19?
So far, it appears the ceremony will go forward as planned. All the inductees were announced already on April 4, followed by tickets going on sale the same day. According to their website, the enshrinement ceremony will take place on Saturday, August 29, the day after the entire event begins.
In all, the event runs three days from August 28-30. Enshrinement, though, is always the highlight, not including bringing plenty of emotions when the former players themselves turn out.
With Bryant being enshrined, everyone knows how emotional that will be if Vanessa Bryant and their surviving children attend. No doubt every NBA fan hopes the ceremony can take place without incident in the event of COVID-19.
All possibility exists the ceremony might be seen on national TV, giving a stellar moment everyone can watch collectively during the Dog Days of summer.
More women are being inducted into the NBA Hall of Fame
The names mentioned above were only partial on those being inducted. Some notable women who made major strides in coaching basketball are being enshrined as well. This includes Kim Mulkey and Barbara Stevens, both vets of taking their respective college teams to the NCAA, reports NBA.com.
One woman player will be enshrined: Tamika Catchings. Anyone who has followed the WNBA over the last 20 years will know Catchings as one of the true superstars in that league.
Other coaches being inducted include Rudy Tomjanovich and Eddie Sutton. Seeing this much talent in one place may be the biggest year for the NBA Hall of Fame. At least by summer, everyone can hopefully enjoy a major event like this without having to social distance too dramatically.
As for television airtime, nothing is set yet. Inductees are usually announced on TV during the NCAA tournaments rather than the enshrinement itself. In a time when everyone wants the inspiration of sports, perhaps a network is still willing to air this through likely more summer sports lulls.