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Basketball Hall of Fame delays Kobe Bryant, Tim Duncan inductions to May 2021

Los Angeles Lakers great Kobe Bryant (24) is among nine individuals who will be inducted into the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame next year. File Photo by Jon SooHoo/UPI
Los Angeles Lakers great Kobe Bryant (24) is among nine individuals who will be inducted into the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame next year. File Photo by Jon SooHoo/UPI | License Photo

Aug. 14 (UPI) -- The Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame announced Friday that its star-studded Class of 2020 featuring Kobe Bryant, Tim Duncan and Kevin Garnett will now be inducted in May at the Mohegan Sun Casino in Uncasville, Conn.

The Hall of Fame said the induction festivities are scheduled for May 13-15, 2021.

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Jerry Colangelo, the chairman of the board of governors for the Hall of Fame, previously said the original and alternate enshrinement dates -- Aug. 28-30 and Oct. 10-12 -- were "just not feasible" because of the ongoing coronavirus pandemic.

"The decision to reschedule enshrinement into May of next year, along with diminished museum guest visitation and a very uncertain future regarding our multiple collegiate and high school basketball events this fall, has forced us to make these very difficult decisions," Hall of Fame President and CEO John Doleva said in a statement Friday.

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"Our goal now is to conserve resources so that we may stabilize in 2021 and return to our growth trajectory in 2022 and beyond. For this single event, and only because of the pandemic, we will relocate the entire event one time to Mohegan Sun which has been a long-time marketing partner of the Hall.

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"Mohegan Sun has shown they can effectively operate a 'near-bubble' for our event which provides a more secure environment for our guests."

The 2020 class also includes: former Houston Rockets coach Rudy Tomjanovich; 10-time WNBA All-Star and four-time Olympic gold medalist Tamika Catchings; Baylor women's basketball coach Kim Mulkey; Bentley College women's basketball coach Barbara Stevens; former FIBA and IOC executive Patrick Baumann; and former college coach Eddie Sutton.

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Colangelo previously noted that there will be separate induction ceremonies for the Class of 2020 and the 2021 class, even though both events will take place in the same calendar year.

The Hall of Fame also announced that it has eliminated multiple full-time positions and cut pay for senior management by 25% to 40% due to the pandemic.

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