The HOF Class of 2020
FEEL THE GAME - Bobby Motus (The Freeman) - April 8, 2020 - 12:00am

Officially announced last week were inductees to this year’s Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame.  Leading the group are Tim Duncan, Kevin Garnett and the late Kobe Bryant.  Joining them are former Houston Rockets coach Rudy Tomjanovich, WNBA All-Star Tamika Catchings, former collegiate coach Eddie Sutton, women’s collegiate coaches Kim Mulkey and Barbara Stevens and former IOC and FIBA executive Patrick Baumann.

Formal induction ceremonies usually happen in August but with the uncertainty of the current situation, there could be some changes.

In a CBS Sports article by Collin Ward-Henninger, he ranked the top 5 HOF classes, basing on the group of players inducted at the same time.  No HOF class can surpass the stacked 2009 group and we’ll start with them.

• Class of 2009 – Michael Jordan, John Stockton, David Robinson, coaches Jerry Sloan and Vivian Stringer. No introductions needed to the 3 legends as well as coach Sloan.  Stringer, who’s still coaching Rutgers University women’s team at 72-years old holds one of the best records in women’s college basketball and is a legend in her own right.

• Class of 2020 – Duncan, Garnett and Kobe combined for 11 NBA titles and 4 MVP awards.  Tomjanovich won two titles coaching the Rockets in the 90s.  Catchings was a 10-time All-Star and won a WNBA title.  Mulkey had 3 titles as Baylor University head coach.

• Class of 1980 – Three of the best players in NBA history are in this class – Oscar Robertson, Jerry West and Jerry Lucas but according to Ward-Henninger, they lacked depth compared to the 2020 class.

• Class of 2018 – This class have three of the best point guards in Maurice Cheeks, Steve Nash and Jason Kidd, one of the best pure shooters the league had seen in Ray Allen, the versatile Grant Hill and international player Dino Radja. 

• Class of 2008 – Patrick Ewing, Hakeem Olajuwon, Adrian Dantley and Pat Riley headline this class.  Hakeem and Riley have championship rings, Ewing is a New York Knicks legend and Dantley made shooting hoops second nature in Utah.

Honorable mentions go to:

• Class of 1987 – Pete Maravich, Bobby Wanzer, Walt Frazier, Rick Barry and Bob Houbregs.

• Class of 1993 – Julius Irving, Walt Bellamy, Bill Walton, Calvin Murphy, Dan Issel, Dick McGuire, Anne Meyers and Uljana Semjonova.

• Class of 1995 – Kareem Abdul-Jabbar, Vern Mikkelsen, Anne Donovan, Cheryl Miller, coaches John Kundla and Alexander Gomelsky and referee Earl Strom.

• Class of 2006 – Dominique Wilkins, Joe Dumars, Charles Barkley, coaches Sandro Gamba and Geno Aureimma.

• Class of 2016 – Allen Iverson, Yao Ming, Shaquille O’Neal, Cumberland Posey, Sheryl Swoopes, coaches Tom Izzo and John McClendon.

NAISMITH MEMORIAL BASKETBALL HALL OF FAME
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