The late Kobe Bryant, Tim Duncan, and Kevin Garnett headline the 2020 finalists for the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame, its committee announced Friday at NBA All-Star Weekend in Chicago.
Below is the complete list of finalists:
Bryant spent his entire 20-year NBA career with the Los Angeles Lakers, winning five championships and claiming Finals MVP on two of those occasions. The 18-time All-Star was one of the Association's most prolific scorers during his heyday and ranked third on the NBA's all-time scoring list at the time of his retirement.
Bryant was also a fierce competitor on both sides of the ball, earning 11 All-NBA first-team honors and nine NBA All-Defensive first-team selections. In January, Hall of Fame chairman Jerry Colangelo guaranteed that Bryant would be a first-ballot inductee.
Duncan's career paralleled Bryant's in that both players achieved great success while suiting up for only one NBA franchise. The big man was drafted first overall by the San Antonio Spurs in 1997 and went on to win five championships - including three Finals MVPs - during his 19 years in the Lone Star State.
The 43-year-old Duncan was also a 10-time All-NBA first-team selection and earned All-Defensive first-team honors on eight occasions. He's currently an assistant coach under his former longtime bench boss, Gregg Popovich.
Garnett leaped from high school to the pros in 1995, becoming the first player to do so in 20 years. The 15-time All-Star spent the majority of his career with the Minnesota Timberwolves before capturing his lone ring in 2008 with the Boston Celtics. "The Big Ticket" is one of four players in league history to win an MVP and a Defensive Player of the Year Award.
Tomjanovich coached the Houston Rockets to back-to-back NBA titles in 1994 and 1995. The Rockets were the only club outside of the Michael Jordan-led Chicago Bulls to win multiple championships during the 1990s. The 71-year-old spent 11 seasons behind the bench for Houston, posting a 503-397 record.
Before his coaching career, Tomjanovich played 11 seasons in the Association primarily for the Rockets. He was selected second overall in 1970 and went on to earn five All-Star selections.
Catchings starred on the Indiana Fever for 14 years after being selected third overall in the 2001 WNBA Draft. Her accolades include a league MVP award, five Defensive Player of the Year honors, four Olympic gold medals, and the Rookie of the Year Award.
The inductees for the 2020 class will be announced during the NCAA Tournament's Final Four in April.