The Basketball Hall of Fame is expected to announce the inductions of Kobe Bryant, Tim Duncan and Kevin Garnett on Saturday, according to Shams Charania of The Athletic.
In Bryant, Duncan and Garnett, the Hall of Fame will welcome three first-time finalists for induction who are among the modern NBA’s most influential talents, with a combined 11 NBA championships and 48 All-Star appearances between them.
Bryant, who died tragically in January in a helicopter crash that claimed the life of his daughter, Gianna, as well as seven others, spent his 20-year career with the Los Angeles Lakers doing his best to eclipse Michael Jordan in the pantheon of NBA greats, and came closer to being a Jordan facsimile than any player before him had.
There’s no simple summation of who Bryant was, but the accolades paint a glowing picture of why he is entering the Hall of Fame.
Bryant won two Olympic gold medals and five NBA championships, earning Finals MVP honours in two of them. He was a 15-time member of the All-NBA team, a 12-time member of the All-Defensive team and won the 2007-08 MVP award. When he retired, he sat third all-time in NBA scoring, and was only this season passed on that list by LeBron James.
In 1,346 career games, he averaged 25 points, 5.2 rebounds and 4.7 assists.
Duncan, like Bryant, spent his entire career with one franchise.
He spent 19 seasons with the San Antonio Spurs, guiding them to 19 playoff appearances and finishing with at least 50 wins in each season he played, and was widely viewed as the emotional fulcrum of the modern-day Spurs.
Throughout his career he was a rookie of the year, two-time MVP, three-time Finals MVP and 15-time All-Star.
After a post-career hiatus from basketball, he joined San Antonio’s coaching staff this season, notching his first win against the Charlotte Hornets just prior to the NBA season being forced to halt due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
In 1,392 games played, he averaged 19 points, 10.8 rebounds and three assists.
Garnett’s most productive personal seasons came as a member of the Minnesota Timberwolves, including a four-year stretch from 2003-2007 where he led the league in rebounds per game each season while also scoring just under 23 points per game and claiming the 2003-04 MVP award.
But his biggest achievements came after leaving the Timberwolves to join the Boston Celtics, wherein he teamed up with Paul Pierce and Ray Allen, ultimately winning a championship in 2008.
Throughout his career, he averaged 17.8 points and 10 rebounds across 1,462 games.