NBA continues inducting athletes into the Hall of Fame despite coronavirus concerns


Davis Staedtler, Flickr

Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame located in Springfield, Massachusetts.

Mark Gidden, Sports Editor

The most recent National Basketball Association (NBA) season has come to a heartbreaking end for many sports fans due to the COVID-19 pandemic outbreak. The virus stopped the NBA season as multiple players began showing symptoms and testing positive for coronavirus. Although the virus is going around the country, that does not mean that the NBA will have to stop their off-season tasks and other events such as hall of fame inductions. So far this year there have been three NBA legends who were inducted to the hall of fame: Kobe Bryant, Kevin Garnett and Tim Duncan. All three players achieved so many things in the realm of basketball and had so many memorable moments during their careers.

This is a huge accomplishment within itself and it is in no way easy to get into the Hall of Fame. One must first obtain a numerous amount of nominations from people and one must be retired from basketball for more than 5 years. But that is not all, one must also need to break records and win awards that are highly esteemed. Then finally the Hall of Fame will have a committee meeting in order to determine if this person can be eligible for entrance into the Hall of Fame.

Bryant was an NBA legend who many consider to be the greatest of all time (GOAT) due to his awards and records that he has set. Bryant was an 18-time all-star, a five-time champion, a two-time finals most valuable player (MVP), a rookie of the year winner and a season MVP award winning champion. He is also in the top five all time scoring leaders in the NBA. Bryant was a shooting guard and was drafted in 1996 to the Charlotte Hornets but was later traded to the Los Angeles Lakers. He played 20 seasons in the NBA, all being with the Lakers. But eventually he announced his retirement during his 2015-2016 season after dropping 60 points in his last game. He played with other Laker all-stars such as Shaquille O’Neal, Steve Nash and Dwight Howard. Unfortunately, a tragic accident happened on January 26, 2020. Bryant died in a helicopter crash due to high winds and the helicopter not being equipped with the right safety equipment. After his death, the NBA began talking about putting him in the Hall of Fame and so they did. However, for the first time in history the own player who was inducted would not be there for his ceremony. This broke hearts around the world and many people began paying their respects to Bryant and his family.

The next player that was inducted was Garnett; Garnett was a 15-time all-star, which makes him tied for third for the most all-star games played. He has been chosen for the defensive team of the year 12 times, has won defensive player of the year and has won an NBA championship in 2008 with the Boston Celtics. Garnett was drafted in 1995 by the Minnesota Timberwolves and was the first player to be drafted right out of high school. Garnett played most of his career with the Celtics and Timberwolves, but later retired in 2015, having played a total of 21 seasons in the NBA.

The last player to be inducted into the Hall of Fame was Duncan. Duncan was a 15-time all-star champion tied for third place for the most all-star appearances, he is also a five time champion and has won all of his championships with the San Antonio Spurs, where he played 19 seasons. He is also a two-time NBA season MVP and a three-time finals MVP. Duncan was drafted in 1997 where he played his whole career with the Spurs. He eventually retired in 2016, having also played with one of the greatest coaches in NBA history, Greg Popovich.

These three Hall of Famers have been known to be some of the most exciting players to watch in the NBA and them battling for championships against each other became some of the most intense playoff series.