Reaction to Saturday’s announcement of the 2020 enshrinement class for the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame:
«It’s an incredible accomplishment and honor and we’re extremely proud of him. Obviously, we wish that he was here with us to celebrate. But it’s definitely the peak of his NBA career and every accomplishment that he had as an athlete was a steppingstone to be here. So we’re incredibly proud of him.» – Vanessa Bryant, speaking on the ESPN broadcast of the Hall of Fame class announcement, on her husband Kobe’s induction.
«Kobe was not only a proven winner and a champion, he gave everything he had to the game of basketball. His fierce competitiveness, work ethic and drive were unmatched. Those qualities helped Kobe lead us to five titles – and have now brought him to the Hall of Fame, where he will be enshrined with the greatest to have ever played the game.» – Lakers Governor Jeannie Buss.
«This is the culmination.» – Hall of Famer Kevin Garnett.
«This is an honor so well deserved. We congratulate Kevin on being selected to the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame. From the day we drafted him in 1995, we knew there was something special about him that Minnesota had never experienced before. I’ve watched Kevin grow on and off the court and will forever be grateful for his contributions to the Timberwolves organization.» – Minnesota owner Glen Taylor, on Kevin Garnett.
«What’s special about it is the people. … Being a part of the history of basketball, the legends of basketball, being a part of that is the big thing for me.» – Hall of Famer Tim Duncan.
«I am incredibly honored to be included in this year’s Naismith Hall of Fame, and God only knows the dreams I had as a little girl to be able to follow in my father’s footsteps. I am so thankful to stand alongside so many amazing men and women that have come before me.» – Hall of Famer Tamika Catchings.
«Tamika is a Hall of Famer in every sense of the word, someone whose success on the court and generosity off it have made her such an important figure in our sport. She is what young players aspire to be.» – Pacers Sports & Entertainment Chairman and CEO Herb Simon, on Catchings.
«It’s a scary time and families are being shattered by this pandemic. To get something positive right now is so wonderful. And another thing that touches me is how many people are so happy about this. I’ve been out of the spotlight for a while, but to have so many people bringing it up … it’s almost too much to take. I am so happy.» – Hall of Famer Rudy Tomjanovich.
«As a longtime Rockets fan, I admired Rudy’s tenacity as a player and loved watching his attention to detail in coaching the back-to-back championship teams in the ’90s. Heart of a champion.» – Rockets owner Tillman Fertitta.
«I’m very emotional. With what’s going on in our country right now, you don’t really know: Should you celebrate? Should you not celebrate? … I’ve been blessed.» – Hall of Famer Kim Mulkey of Baylor.
«She is so much more than the leader of our defending national champion women’s basketball program. Baylor is proud of Coach Mulkey for how she positively shapes the lives of our women’s basketball student-athletes, preparing them as champions on the court, in the classroom, in the community and ultimately in life.» – Baylor University President Linda Livingstone, on Mulkey.
«I am so honored, I am so humbled to be included in this unbelievable class of inductees into the Hall of Fame. This is something that is overwhelming.» – Hall of Famer Barbara Stevens of Bentley University.
«This is just validation of what we all know, that Eddie Sutton is one of the greatest coaches in the history of the game.» — Oklahoma State coach Mike Boynton, on Sutton’s selection.
«He was someone that was very special.» – Hall of Fame Chairman Jerry Colangelo, on Hall of Famer and former FIBA Secretary General Patrick Baumann.
More AP sports: https://apnews.com/apf-sports and https://twitter.com/AP-Sports