Kobe Bryant, Tim Duncan and Kevin Garnett headline the list of eight finalists for the Basketball Hall of Fame's 2020 class.
The finalists were selected from a group of almost 200 nominees and announced on Friday at Chicago's United Center during NBA All-Star Weekend.
Along with the three NBA legends, Baylor coach Kim Mulkey, NBA coach Rudy Tomjanovich, Division II women's coach Barbara Stevens, longtime men's college coach Eddie Sutton and WNBA player Tamika Catchings round out the list of finalists.
Finalists Bryant, Duncan, Garnett and Catchings were first-time nominees. Bryant died tragically on Jan. 26 in a helicopter crash that killed his daughter, Gianna, and seven others, and is widely expected to be inducted posthumously with this class.
"When the nominees for the Class of 2020 were announced in December, we knew this class had the potential of being one of the most historic of all time,” said Jerry Colangelo, Chairman of the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame. "The untimely passing of Kobe Bryant has left us in a state of reflective mourning and we're proud to honor his legacy while also recognizing seven other individuals who have meant so much to our game. We congratulate our finalists and those who have supported them on their journeys."
Sportswriter and commentator Michael Wilbon and NBA play-by-play broadcaster Mike Breen were named the 2020 Curt Gowdy Media Award recipients.
The NBA also introduced two other new media awards, the Transformative Media Award and the Insight Media Award, which were won by TNT’s Inside the NBA and broadcaster Jim Gray respectively.
The Hall of Fame Class of 2020 will be announced on April 4 from the NCAA Final Four in Atlanta. A finalist needs 18 of 24 votes from the Honors Committee to be elected into the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame.
The Class of 2020 will be enshrined in August in Springfield, Mass.