The effects of the COVID-19 pandemic continue to ravage our greatest sports moments and events. The Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame enshrinement ceremony has been pushed back to the spring of 2021, according to an ESPN.com report on Wednesday.
The Class of 2020 is among the most accomplished and impactful in NBA history. Some say it’s the most elite induction class ever.
Tim Duncan, Kevin Garnett and Kobe Bryant can easily be found on anyone’s Top 25 all-time list and basketball fans anxiously looked forward to celebrating the careers of these hoops icons, especially Kobe Bryant, the creme de la creme of the distinguished class, who passed away, along with his daughter Gigi and several other passengers when the Sikorsky S-76B helicopter they were in crashed in Calabasas, California, around 30 miles northwest of downtown Los Angeles.
Jerry Colangelo, chairman of the board of governors for the Hall, said the original dates of enshrinement weekend, Aug. 28-30, and the proposed alternate dates, Oct. 10-12, are “just not feasible” in light of the pandemic that has killed more than 100,000 people in the U.S. and has rendered large gatherings taboo. The board of governors will convene on June 10, he said, to explore spring dates.
“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 2020 class also includes legendary Rockets coach and two-time NBA champion Rudy Tomjanovich, 10-time WNBA All-Star and four-time Olympic gold medalist Tamika Catchings, Baylor women’s basketball coach Kim Mulkey, Bentley College women’s basketball coach Barbara Stevens, former FIBA and IOC executive Patrick Baumann and former college coach Eddie Sutton (RIP).
This unrivaled class was supposed to serve as a springboard to trumpet its $23 million renovations. The Hall, located in Springfield, Massachusetts, closed in early February to complete the renovations and planned to reopen on March 25, but because of the pandemic, its doors have remained shuttered.
The compilation of transcending talent and the underlying storylines within the narrative of these various’ basketball sagas, will still make this induction the hottest ticket in town come 2021