Kobe Bryant, Tim Duncan and Kevin Garnett headline Basketball Hall of Fame finalists for class of 2020

Derick E. Hingle / USA TODAY Sports

The 2019 Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame inducted a class that lacked star power by its usual standards. With no superstars hitting the five-year retirement threshold, a number of older, lesser-known players like Jack Sikma and Bobby Jones were enshrined in Springfield. That won't be the case this year, though. The Hall of Fame just announced its 2020 finalists, and the class looks to be absolutely loaded with big names. 

  • Kim Mulkey
  • Rudy Tomjanovich
  • Barbara Stevens
  • Eddie Sutton
  • Tim Duncan
  • Tamika Catchings
  • Kevin Garnett
  • Kobe Bryant

Headlining the class for obvious reasons will be Kobe Bryant. Arguably the greatest Laker of all time, Bryant was already a Hall of Fame lock after winning five championships, two Olympic gold medals and the 2008 MVP award. His January death, however, changed the tenor of this year's enshrinements entirely. What is usually a celebration of the game's history will now take on a more somber atmosphere in what will likely serve as a sort of public memorial for Bryant presided over by some of the game's greatest players. 

Longtime rival Tim Duncan will almost certainly be joining him in Springfield. A five-time champion as well, Duncan's Spurs battled Bryant's Lakers in the playoffs six times. Duncan won two MVP awards in 2002 and 2003, made 15 All-Star teams and was named to 15 All-Defensive Teams. He is viewed by many as the best defensive player of the century, and if he has to contend with anyone for that distinction, it is another likely enshrinee in this class.

Kevin Garnett doesn't have quite as much jewelry as Bryant or Duncan, but his 2008 Boston Celtics had one of the greatest single seasons in NBA history. He won the 2004 MVP award as a member of the Minnesota Timberwolves, and battled Bryant's Lakers in the NBA Finals in 2008 and 2010. 

While the legends will garner the bulk of the attention, the class as a whole has eight finalists. Mulkey and Stevens are among the greatest coaches in women's basketball history. Catchings is a WNBA and collegiate legends. Sutton is among the leaders in victories among collegiate coaches in his remarkable career. And Tomjanovich won two championships as coach of the Houston Rockets before a brief stint coaching Bryant and the Lakers. 

The selections for this year's Hall of Fame class will be announced at the Final Four in April. The ceremony to enshrine this year's selections will take place in Springfield in August. 

Sam Quinn joined CBS sports as a basketball writer in 2019. Prior to that, he wrote for 247Sports and Bleacher Report. He is a New York native and NYU graduate who also has roots in Florida and California. Full Bio

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