National Basketball Association

Top moments from star-studded Basketball Hall of Fame induction ceremony

May 15

Kobe Bryant was posthumously inducted into the Naismith Basketball Hall of Fame on Saturday, headlining a star-studded class that also included two of Bryant's NBA contemporaries – Tim Duncan and Kevin Garnett.

And while memories of Bryant dominated the day, including an emotional tribute by Bryant's widow Vanessa, it was on the whole a powerful and loving ode to the sport of basketball, with many wonderful and touching stories shared. It was also a long time coming, as this was the class of 2020, its enshrinement delayed due to the COVID-19 pandemic. 

The class included:

- Kobe Bryant, 18-time NBA All-Star and five-time NBA champion.
- Tim Duncan, 15-time NBA All-Star and three-time NBA Finals MVP.
- Kevin Garnett, 15-time NBA All-Star and nine-time NBA All-Defensive First Team selection.
- Tamika Catchings, 10-time WNBA All-Star and four-time Olympic gold medalist.
- Kim Mulkey, three-time NCAA Championship coach.
- Barbara Stevens, five-time Division II National Coach of the Year.
- Eddie Sutton, four-time NCAA National Coach of the Year.
- Rudy Tomjanovich, two-time NBA champion coach.
- Patrick Baumann, longtime FIBA executive

The ceremony was moved from the Hall of Fame in Springfield, Mass., to Mohegan Sun Arena in Uncasville, Conn., for more space.

Here are some of the highlights from the event as well as reactions across social media.

Tamika Catchings: "Basketball chose me."

Catchings' story – and career – are inspiring.

Catchings had known fellow inductee Kobe Bryant since they were kids.

Patrick Baumann played a huge role in the international growth of the sport. He was inducted posthumously as he died in 2018.

Kim Mulkey is the 10th active D-I coach enshrined.

She inspires many, including her son.

Eddie Sutton was honored for his storied career.

Barbara Stevens was a five-time coach of the year on the D-II level.

Rudy Tomjanovich coached the Houston Rockets to a pair of championships.

He used his speech to thank others and to make an impassioned plea in support of one of his former players, Robert Horry.

Kevin Garnett went straight to the NBA from high school and became known for his intensity.

Garnett gave Duncan and Bryant credit for pushing him to be great.

Beautiful, simple, elegant: That was Tim Duncan's bank shot.

Duncan: "This story and journey doesn't make sense."

LeBron James honored Kobe after the Lakers' game on Saturday.

So much about Bryant's career to highlight.

Vanessa Bryant to Kobe: "You did it. You're in the Hall of Fame now. You're a true champ. You're not just an MVP. You're an all-time great. I'm so proud of you. I love you forever and always. Kobe. Bean. Bryant."

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