The Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame will induct Kobe Bryant posthumously later this year, it was announced Saturday.
Bryant, who died Jan. 26, is part of a 2020 class that also includes Tim Duncan, Kevin Garnett, Rudy Tomjanovich and Eddie Sutton.
Bryant, Duncan and Garnett were all considered locks for Springfield. The trio combined for 11 NBA championships (five each for Bryant and Duncan), four NBA MVP awards and 48 All-Star appearances during their playing days.
Tomjanovich coached the Rockets to consecutive NBA championships in 1994 and 1995, the period between the three-peats by Michael Jordan and the Bulls. "Rudy T" also had a 10-year career as a player, finishing with averages of 17.4 points and 8.1 rebounds.
Sutton coached 37 seasons in NCAA Division I, compiling 806 career victories. He led Creighton, Arkansas, Kentucky and Oklahoma State to the NCAA Tournament; he reached the Final Four with Arkansas in 1978 and with Oklahoma State in 1995 and 2004. His last coaching stint was with San Francisco in 2008.
Those five comprised the list of men's finalists for this year's Hall of Fame class. The women's finalists were former Tennessee and WNBA star Tamika Catchings; Baylor coach Kim Mulkey; and Barbara Stevens, coach at Division II Bentley University. Catchings, Mulkey and Stevens will all be inducted along with Patrick Baumann, a former FIBA executive.
The announcement of this year's class was to coincide with this year's Final Four in Atlanta, but the NCAA canceled the games because of the coronavirus pandemic.
The 2020 Hall of Fame induction ceremony is scheduled for Aug. 29.