The Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame announced today, multi-Grammy Award-winning artist NE-YO will perform at the Class of 2020 Enshrinement Ceremony held at Mohegan Sun in Uncasville, Conn. on Saturday, May 15. The ceremony will be hosted by Ahmad Rashad and the television broadcast schedule will be announced on Monday, May 10.
“As we return to live events, we’re excited to elevate the experience by providing our attendees, and fans tuning-in from home, a performance by world-class artist NE-YO,” said John Doleva, President and CEO of the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame. “We sincerely appreciate the support of the basketball community in making this overdue celebration come to fruition and we look forward to honoring the historic Class of 2020.”
“It’s a privilege and honor to perform for such heroes in the game, including the late Kobe Bryant,” said Motown Records/Compound Entertainment recording artist NE-YO. “I’ve admired and respected these players for years; I’m looking forward to safely performing and celebrating this year’s class.”
The Class of 2020 inductees are longtime FIBA executive Patrick Baumann, 18-time NBA All-Star and five-time NBA champion Kobe Bryant, 10-time WNBA All-Star and four-time Olympic gold medalist Tamika Catchings, 15-time NBA All-Star and three-time NBA Finals MVP Tim Duncan, 15-time NBA All-Star and nine-time NBA All-Defensive First Team selection Kevin Garnett, three-time NCAA National Championship Coach Kim Mulkey, five-time Division II National Coach of the Year Barbara Stevens, four-time collegiate National Coach of the Year Eddie Sutton, and two-time NBA Champion coach Rudy Tomjanovich.
On Saturday, it became official. The greatest Hall of Fame class in Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame history was finally assembled.
The late Kobe Bryant, Tim Duncan, Kevin Garnett, and six others were selected to the Hall and will be enshrined in August at the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame in Springfield, Massachusetts.
This is a great class, which many have had circled on their calendar for years. Sadly, Bryant and his daughter, Gianna, who, along with seven others, died in a helicopter accident in January, will not be there.
Here is the complete list of the class of 2020:
EDDIE SUTTON [Coach]
RUDY TOMJANOVICH [Coach]
KIM MULKEY [Coach]
BARBARA STEVENS [Coach]
After the announcement, Duncan, a 15-time NBA All-Star and five-time NBA champion reacted to making the Hall of Fame.
Here is what he had to say:
Last night, the band got back together. Pierce, Perk, KG, Rondo, and Big Baby Davis, members of the 2008 Celtics, appeared on Area 21. However, a big piece was missing. Ray Allen was not there, and has been on the outs with the 2008 crew since he headed to Miami in 2013.
After it was over, Allen went to Facebook and posted this:
Allen would later delete the post.
The 2008 Celtics had a reunion. KG, Big Baby, Perk, Rondo and Pierce got together to talk about the good old days on Area 21. The biggest question is where’s Ray Allen?
2008 Celtics address the issue.
Listen to what they had to say:
“It was more than basketball for us… It felt like a sour breakup.”
Pierce, KG, Rondo, Big Baby & Perk share their thoughts on Ray Allen. pic.twitter.com/8JYRWmxm0i
— KG's Area 21 (@KGArea21) May 9, 2017
Ray Allen was integral part of the 2008 Celtics. There is no title in Boston without Allen. According to “The Undefeated,” after Allen left the Celtics in 2012, his relationship with the other members of Boston’s big three(Garnett and Pierce) have not been the same. Rajon Rondo told “The Undefeated” that Ray Allen would not be invited to a vacation being planned by Rondo to celebrate the 10-year anniversary of the Celtics winning the title in 2008. According Rondo, the other players on the roster did not want Allen there:
“I asked a couple of the guys. I got a no, a no head shake,” explained Rondo.
This sounds pretty petty. Look, these are grown men, so they don’t have to invite him. It’s no secret that Rondo and Allen are not very fond of each other. Rondo did admit that he had an issue with Allen leaving and going to the Heat:
“To go with the enemy, that’s unheard-of in sports. Well, it’s not so unheard of. It’s da_n near common now,” Rondo told “The Undefeated.”
When Allen went to the Heat in 2012, he did what was best for him.. You can’t be mad at a man for doing what is best for his situation.
In the words of the great Mark Jackson: “2008 Celtics you’re better than that!”