Let us have a look at the Candidates this year.
1. Kobe Bryant – Los Angeles Lakers (1996-2006)
Achievements – 5x NBA Champion, 2x Finals MVP, 1x NBA MVP, 18x NBA All – Star, 4x NBA All – Star Game MVP, 11x All – NBA 1st Team, No.8 & No.24 Retired by Los Angeles Lakers
Lakers OG, the Mamba. The player who has been idolized worldwide will be posthumously enshrined in the basketball Hall of Fame. Kobe was not just a player; he was an emotion for many. Most of the NBA Players wanted to emulate his style of play. The Mamba Mentality they say. The world lost Kobe on January 26,2020 in a helicopter crash. The world stood silent. It made us feel how things can turn unpredictable in a flash.
Vanessa Bryant – his wife, will receive the award on Kobe’s behalf and the man, the GOAT of the modern basketball and the player who was idolized by Kobe Bryant himself, Michael Jordan would be the presenter for him
Jordan has described Kobe as his little brother in an emotional speech at his memorial which had happened back in February 2021 where he mentioned ‘When Kobe Bryant died, a piece of me died, and as I look at this arena and across the globe, a piece of you died, I promise you, from this day forward, I will live with the memories of knowing that I had a little brother that I tried to help in every way I could. Please rest in peace, little brother’
2. Tim Duncan – San Antonio Spurs (1997 – 2016)
Achievements – 5x NBA Champion, 3x Finals MVP, 2x NBA MVP, 15x NBA All-Star, 1x NBA All-Star Game MVP, 15x NBA All-Star, No.21 retired by San Antonio Spurs
Tim Duncan was one of the greatest Power Forward/ Centre to grace the court. Duncan has led the Spurs to five championships in his 19 seasons with the Spurs. 6ft 11 Power Forward/ Centre has averaged Double – Double throughout his career and has been a consistent player throughout his career. His 3 Finals MVP has gained himself as a clutch player in clutch situations. Duncan is one of two players in NBA history to record at least 26,000 points, 15,000 rebounds and 3,000 blocks in his career (Kareem Abdul-Jabbar), as well as the only player in league history, to reach 1,000 career wins with one team.
David Robinson, one of the Spurs All-Time greats, will be the presenter for him.
3. Kevin Garnett – Minnesota Timberwolves (1995 – 2007, 2015-16), Boston Celtics (2007-2013), Brooklyn Nets (2013-2015)
Achievements – 1x NBA Champion, 1x NBA MVP, 15x NBA All-Star, 1x NBA All-Star Game MVP, 4x All-NBA 1st Team, 4x Rebounding Champion,
Kevin Garnett, a player with a swag. He was a carefree player on the court who gave it all every day. He put a lowly Minnesota Timberwolves on the map, guided the Boston Celtics to their 1st Championship after decades. One of the most passionate players in the History of the game. Along with Time Duncan, Garnett proved that Power Forwards and Centre’s do have great touch in scoring as well and not just rebound the ball.
Kevin Garnett will be presented by Isiah Thomas
4. Tamika Catchings – Indiana Fever (2002-2016)
Achievements – 1x WNBA Champion, 1x WNBA Finals MVP, 1x WNBA MVP, 10x WNBA All – Star, No.24 Retired by Indiana Fever
One of the WNBA greats, who has helped women’s basketball around the globe to excel. Tamika played her whole career with the Indian Fever where she guided them to the 2012 WNBA Championship. She is now general manager and vice president of basketball operations with the franchise.
She states – ‘There’s no turning back. This is the end. The storybook ending and all of the other things you accomplished along the way, it’s just a great ending. It’s awesome’
Catchings will be presented by NBA greats Alonzo Mourning & Dawn Staley
5. Barbara Stevens – Coach
Achievements – 44 seasons as college coach -34 with Bentley University, 5x WBCA National Division ii Coach of the year, Carol Eckman Award
5-time WBCA champion coach has been introduced in the Hall of Fame and much deserved. Barbara has a coaching record of 1058 – 291 where she is one of the 6 NCAA women’s basketball coaches to win at least 1000 games in her coaching career. Barbara debuted with Bentley University in 1986 and racked up an impressive record of 901-200 with the University before she retired.
Stevens will be introduced by Geno Auriemma and Muffet McGraw
6. Rudy Tomjanovich – Houston Rockets (1970 – 1981) Player; Houston Rockets – Assistant Coach (1983-1992), Head Coach – Houston Rockets (1992-2003), LA Lakers (2004-2005)
Achievements – 5x NBA All-Star, 2x NBA Champion (As a Coach), No.45 retired by Houston Rockets.
The coach who guided the Houston Rockets to 2 of the most famous championships in their history, Rudy finally gets his due. He was considered to be overlooked for a lot of years. As a coach for Rockets, he was the head coach for almost 11 seasons where this record for them was 503 – 397 in the regular season and 51-39 in the Playoffs.
Rudy was the only coach in NBA History with multiple NBA Titles and an Olympic Gold medal not to be inducted in the Hall of Fame.
He will be presented by Calvin Murphy and Hakeem Olajuwon
7. Kim Mulkey – LSU Head Coach
Achievements – 3x NCAA Division I Tournament, 12x Big 12 regular season, 11x Big 12 Tournament, 2x AP Basketball Coach of the Year, 2x WBCA National Coach of the Year.
One of the most versatile coaches in NCAA history. Currently the Head Coach of LSU, Mulkey became the 1st person in NCAA Women’s Basketball History to win a national championship as a player, assistant coach, and head coach
Mulkey would be presented by the basketball GOAT – Michael Jordan
8. Patrick Baumann – Basketball Executive
Few Basketball executives around the world create impact wherever they work or go. Baumann was one of those executives who improved the game of basketball on a global scale by creating an impact during his tenure in FIBA. He was usually forefront when FIBA made a lot of structural changes. The concept of 3x3 basketball was encouraged by Baumann.
He was also an important element for the IOC. He was even appointed as Chairman of the Coordination Commission for the Olympic Games 2028, however, he died in 2018 with a heart attack while attending the 2018 Youth Olympic games.
Baumann will be presented by Russ Granik and Vlade Divac
9. Eddie Sutton – Coach
Achievements – 3x NCAA Regional I,5x SWC regular season, 2x AP College Coach of the year, 4x SWC Coach of the Year.
A coach whose resume would cover a 2-page blog. Eddie Sutton is one of the decorated coaches in college basketball history, Sutton led Creighton, Arkansas, Kentucky, and Oklahoma State to the NCAA tournament. Kentucky reached the Elite Eight under Sutton, and he led both Arkansas (1978) and Oklahoma State to the Final Four (1995, 2004). His coaching record of 806 – 326 makes it one of the 10 coaches in the history of NCAA Basketball Division 1 basketball to achieve this feat.
He would be presented by John Calipari, Bill Self, and Sidney Moncrief.
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