Hall of Fame Considering Delaying Kobe, Duncan, Garnett Induction Amid COVID-19May 24, 2020
The Basketball Hall of Fame will induct one of its most decorated classes in history in 2020, but the coronavirus could affect the ceremony plans.
Kobe Bryant, Kevin Garnett, Tim Duncan and six others are currently scheduled to be inducted in a ceremony on Aug. 29 in Springfield, but Hall of Fame CEO John Doleva told the Boston Globe's Gary Washburn the date could still be changed.
Columbus Day weekend (Oct. 9-11) remains an option for the ceremony or the event could be moved to next spring. However, the class will not be combined with the 2021 induction ceremony.
"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," Doleva said. "There is a potential next calendar year that we could have two enshrinements."
Marc Stein of the New York Times reported in April the Basketball Hall of Fame was "hopeful" it would continue with its scheduled events.
The ceremony will be highly anticipated regardless of date due to the inclusion of Bryant, an 18-time All-Star and five-time NBA champion who was killed in a helicopter crash in January.
Former Oklahoma State coach Eddie Sutton will also be inducted posthumously after dying of natural causes Saturday, per Jeff Borzello of ESPN.
In addition to Bryant, the 2020 class features other players who dominated the past couple of decades in the sport, including Duncan and Garnett, who each had 15 All-Star selections in their careers. Tamika Catchings was a 10-time WNBA All-Star and Olympic gold medalist.
The Hall of Fame has planned to move the event to the MassMutual Center, which has a larger capacity than Symphony Hall, where the induction ceremony has been housed since 2009. However, the plans could continue to change due to the ongoing pandemic.
"We want to have all that information by month's end and decide what our action plan is going to be," Doleva said.