By Eurohoops team/ email@example.com
It was not the first time that two new members of the Basketball Hall of Fame got this honor after their death. However, when those two new members are Kobe Bryant and former FIBA secretary general Patrick Baumann, it’s an extraordinary night.
Vanessa Bryant, the wife of the late Kobe Bryant, accepted her husband’s admission who was introduced by none other than Michael Jordan and as she said: “Right now, I’m sure he’s laughing in heaven because I’m about to praise him in public for his accomplishments on one of the most public stages. I can see him now, arms folded, with a huge grin saying, ‘Isn’t this some s—? He’s still winning.”
Fellow NBA legends Kevin Garnett and Tim Duncan also entered the Hall of Fame.
“It was nothing but epic when we battled,” Garnett said to Duncan. “I look forward to all the battles. Seriously. And I thank you for taking me to another level, you and Rasheed [Wallace].”
And of course, Duncan couldn’t but mention his fellow international Spurs stars: “It’s a blessing beyond what I can put into words. Manu Ginobili, Tony Parker, I can’t wait to see you guys up here and for me to not be up here. It was an honor sharing the court with you guys. Thank you for your friendship, thank you for your brotherhood, thank you for all of the experiences that we shared on that court.”
Baumann died in 2018 and Mark Tatum, the NBA deputy commissioner, praised him about the “one FIBA project”, which modernized the international basketball federation.
College coaches Barbara Stevens, Eddie Sutton, and Kim Mulkey alongside two-time NBA champion coach Rudy Tomjanovich and WNBA legend Tamika Catchings complete the list of the 2020 class.