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Bryant, Duncan, Garnett, Bosh lead Basketball Hall list

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Some all-time NBA greats are about to have their first shot at official immortality.

The Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame has announced its initial list of 50 nominees for induction into the Hall as part of the Class of 2020. The finalists for the honor will be announced in February during the NBA’s All-Star Weekend, while the inductees will be named during the Final Four in April.

There are a lot of incredible names on this list, players who in their way helped define greatness in the game, but there are a few first-timers that could make this class one of the Hall’s greatest ever.

Kobe Bryant, Tim Duncan, Kevin Garnett and Chris Bosh headline the potential class; with three no-doubt all-time greats (and Bosh, who’s just half a notch below them), it’s a generational-type group.

Obviously, you have to start with Kobe. He spent his entire 20-year career playing with the Lakers, becoming one of the winningest players of his generation, making seven Finals and earning five championships. And he just happened to be one of the best scorers in NBA history; his 33,643 career points put him third all-time. Oh, and then there’s his defensive prowess – nine first-team All-Defensive, three second-team. He won an MVP, was an 18-time All-Star (winning game MVP honors four times) and was named to the All-NBA first team 11 times (second team once, third twice). A top-10 all-time.

And for all that, Tim Duncan might have been better. In his 19 years in the NBA – all with the San Antonio Spurs – he averaged 19 points and 10.8 rebounds a game … for nearly 1,400 games. Oh, and he won four rings himself and made the playoffs literally every year. His career numbers are staggering: 26,496 points (14th all-time), 15,091 rebounds (sixth), 3,020 blocks (fifth). He won back-to-back MVP awards and was the 1997-98 Rookie of the Year. He was named to 15 All-NBA teams, making the first team 10, the second three and the third team twice; he also made the All-Defensive first team eight times and the second team seven. Maybe the best power forward in NBA history.

Unless it’s Kevin Garnett, who carried his legendary competitiveness through 21 years as an NBA player. His 1,462 games rank seventh in league history, but it’s what he did with those games that make him a legend. He scored 26,071 points, good for 17th all time. He pulled down 14,662 boards – ninth. In a fun bit of synchronicity, Garnett currently sits in 18th place on the all-time list for both blocks (2,037) and steals (1,859). He’s even top-50 (barely) in assists. He’s got an MVP win to go with two seconds and a third. He made 12 All-Defensive teams (nine firsts, three seconds) and was the 2007-08 Defensive Player of the Year. He was a 15-time All-Star and was named to nine All-NBA teams (four firsts, three seconds, two thirds).

Chris Bosh is definitely fourth on this list of four, but there’s no shame in being last on this list. Despite a career cut somewhat short by medical issues, Bosh definitely warrants enshrinement attention. He played just shy of 900 games in 13 years, playing his last game at just 31. Still, he averaged over 19 points and 8.5 rebounds, with two assists thrown in. He won two titles after joining LeBron James and Dwyane Wade with the Miami Heat. He was an 11-time All-Star. Again, a phenomenal player – just one who happens to pale in comparison to the previous three.

There are some quality holdovers, led by notables like Chris Webber, Tim Hardaway and Chauncey Billips, but it’s the new names that are going to attract the most attention. Bryant, Duncan, Garnett – that’s a slam dunk top three.

Last modified on Monday, 23 December 2019 17:35

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