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The Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame will honor the class of 2020 with their own induction ceremony, even if it's postponed until 2021 due to the coronavirus pandemic.
"I do want to make it very clear we will have a separate event for the class of 2020 because of the notoriety of that class and, frankly, every class deserves its own recognition," Hall of Fame CEO John Doleva told the Boston Globe's Gary Washburn. "There is a potential next calendar year that we could have two enshrinements."
Kevin Garnett, Tim Duncan, and the late Kobe Bryant will headline the nine-person 2020 class. They are still scheduled to be enshrined Aug. 29 in Springfield, Massachusetts.
The Hall hasn't yet decided on who will accept the induction in honor of Bryant. The Los Angeles Lakers icon died on Jan. 26 in a helicopter crash, along with his 13-year-old daughter, Gianna, and seven others.
However, Doleva said Bryant's widow, Vanessa, told him she wants to take part in the ceremony.
"I had the opportunity to speak very briefly with Mrs. Bryant and she was very appreciative and very emotional," he said. "She has certainly indicated to be very involved, she and her family and others, in his enshrinement ceremony when it happens."
A decision on the date of the 2020 enshrinement ceremony will be made sometime within the coming week, Doleva said.