What’s been a no-brainer for more than a decade became official on Saturday: Tim Duncan will enter the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame in Springfield, Massachusetts. Joining the San Antonio Spurs legend in the 2020 class will be seven others including Kobe Bryant, Kevin Garnett and Rudy Tomjanovich. The enshrinement will take place on August 29.
“It was an incredible career,” said Duncan after learning of the news, “that I enjoyed so much.”
Five-time NBA champion, two-time MVP, three-time Finals MVP, 15-time All-Star … Duncan’s list of accomplishments goes on and on. Spurs fans don’t need to be reminded of how deserving Duncan is of being a Hall of Famer. It’s impossible to put into words how much he has meant to the franchise since the first time he donned the silver and black back in 1997.
The ceremony in August promises to be emotional after Bryant’s tragic death earlier this year. There won’t be a dry eye in the house — or on Skype, depending on what’s happening with the pandemic at that time.
Spurs head coach Gregg Popovich was likely also thrilled when he heard that Tomjanovich made the cut.
Said Popovich last year about the former coach of the Houston Rockets: “I wonder every year why he is not in the Hall of Fame.”
“As a player, he was relentless and tough,” Popovich continued. “Any coach would want to have him on his team or her team. Then he was successful and built a great program in Houston. He won championships. He won back-to-back championships. And he’s an Olympic gold medalist.”
Speaking of Popovich, he too will one day be inducted into the Hall of Fame. There was a report that he has refused consideration until after Duncan was enshrined. Once Duncan is officially in, expect Popovich to follow him soon enough. Although, he might decide to put it off for a little bit longer if he decides to coach another season, as is rumored.