While we are getting closer and closer to a return to the NBA, not every basketball-related event is ready to go. Jerry Colangelo, the chairman of the Naismith Basketball Hall of Fame's board of governors, told ESPN's Jackie MacMullan Wednesday that the 2020 induction ceremony has been delayed until the spring of 2021.
"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."
Originally scheduled to take place on Aug. 29 in Springfield, Massachusetts, the Hall of Fame initially targeted Columbus Day Weekend as a possible alternative. Colangelo called those dates "just not feasible," so new ones will be discussed on the June call between the league's board of governors. Colangelo also confirmed that the 2020 class will have its own ceremony distinct from the one that will eventually be held for the class of 2021.
The 2020 Hall of Fame class has already been considered one of the best in history, and is, Tim Duncan, Kevin Garnett and Tamika Catchings. The event was going to be an emotional affair given Bryant's tragic death in a helicopter crash in January. The Hall can now ensure that Bryant and the rest of the class get the recognition they deserve.
The Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame had just undergone a $23 million renovation and had planned to reopen on March 25, according to McMullen. The star-studded class of 2020 would have drawn quite a bit of attention for the museum, but at this point, large gatherings such as would typically occur for a Hall of Fame induction simply are not feasible from a medical perspective. At this stage in the coronavirus pandemic, it made far more sense to delay the 2020 ceremony.
Also joining the class of 2020 with Bryant, Duncan, Garnett and Catchings are former Houston Rockets coach Rudy Tomjanovich, former collegiate coach Eddie Sutton, Baylor women's basketball coach Kim Mulkey, former women's college basketball coach Barbara Stevens and former FIBA and IOC executive Patrick Baumann.