There were still a few games here and there early in the day, but for the most part the NBA took Saturday off to focus on the Naismith Basketball Hall of Fame Class of 2020 induction ceremony, which had been postponed until now due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
One of the many big names inducted into the Hall this year was Minnesota Timberwolves and Boston Celtics legend Kevin Garnett. During his speech, he made a point to thank some of his fellow honorees, Tim Duncan and Kobe Bryant, for all their "epic" battles against one another.
Garnett's full comments:
"I played the game hard, I played the game with a passion. I want say Timmy, thank you man. Congratulations to you and Kobe. It was nothing but epic when we battled. I looked forward to all the battles, seriously. I thank you for taking me to another level. It's an honor to go into the Hall with you bro, you and Kobe. Congratulations, Vanessa. I love ya'll. That's my time, thank you guys. I love y'all."
As three of the best players in the Western Conference during the late 1990s and early 2000s, Garnett, Duncan and Bryant matched up countless times, both in the regular season and the playoffs, and played together in nine different All-Star Games.
In both 1999 and 2001, Garnett and the Timberwolves were eliminated from the playoffs in the first round by Duncan and the Spurs. A few years later, Garnett and Bryant went at it in back-to-back playoffs. In 2003, the Lakers won a first-round matchup against the Wolves, and in 2004 the Lakers knocked them out in the Western Conference finals.
While Garnett never did get the better of Duncan in the playoffs, he would eventually get his revenge against Bryant. After joining the Celtics in the 2007-08 season, Garnett helped Boston take down Los Angeles in the Finals to win the 2008 title. That proved to be Garnett's only ring, however, as Bryant and the Lakers got them back in the 2010 Finals.
Most of the battles didn't go Garnett's way -- though that was largely due to the teams he was on, rather than his play -- but they certainly were epic.