Hall of Fame Postpones Kobe, Duncan, Garnett Ceremony Until 2021 Amid COVID-19

Scott Polacek@@ScottPolacekFeatured ColumnistMay 28, 2020

SAN ANTONIO, TX - DECEMBER 11: Kobe Bryant #24 of the Los Angeles Lakers greets Tim Duncan #21 of the San Antonio Spurs before the start of their game  at AT&T Center on December 11, 2015 in San Antonio, Texas.  NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that , by downloading and or using this photograph, User is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement. (Photo by Ronald Cortes/Getty Images)
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Basketball fans looking forward to the induction of the Naismith Basketball Hall of Fame Class of 2020 will have to wait until 2021.

According to Jackie MacMullan of ESPN, Jerry Colangelo, who is the chairman of the board of governors for the Hall, said the original dates of Aug. 28-30 and the proposed alternative of Oct. 10-12 are "just not feasible" amid the COVID-19 pandemic. 

"We're definitely canceling," Colangelo said. "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."

The board of governors will meet on June 10 to discuss specific spring dates for the rescheduled ceremony for a class that features Kobe Bryant, Tim Duncan, Kevin Garnett, Tamika Catchings, Kim Mulkey, Barbara Stevens, Rudy Tomjanovich, Patrick Baumann and Eddie Sutton.

The Naismith Basketball Hall of Fame has been closed since February as it undergoes renovations, but it was scheduled to reopen on March 25. However, it is still closed because of the COVID-19 pandemic.

Colangelo said there are no plans to combine the Class of 2020 with the Class of 2021, adding, "The Class of 2020 is a very special class and deserves its own celebration."

It is hard to argue with that assessment considering Bryant, Garnett and Duncan helped define an entire generation of basketball.

Garnett was a one-time champion who won a league MVP and Defensive Player of the Year. He also won four rebounding crowns and was selected to nine All-NBA teams, 15 All-Star Games and 12 All-Defensive teams.

Duncan was a five-time champion who won two league MVPs, three NBA Finals MVPs and the Rookie of the Year. He was also selected to 15-All-NBA teams, 15 All-Defensive teams and 15 All-Star Games.

Bryant was a five-time champion who won a league MVP, two NBA Finals MVPs, four All-Star Game MVPs and two scoring crowns. He was also selected to 15 All-NBA teams, 12 All-Defensive teams and 18 All-Star Games.

The Los Angeles Lakers legend, his daughter Gianna and seven others died in a helicopter crash on Jan. 26.