The coronavirus pandemic has caused another sporting event to be postponed.
The Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame enshrinement ceremony has been pushed back to the spring of 2021, according to an ESPN.com report on Wednesday. When the Class of 2020 — which includes Tim Duncan, Kevin Garnett and Kobe Bryant — is inducted, it will be one of the most star-studded classes ever.
The original dates for enshrinement weekend, Aug. 28-30, and the proposed alternate dates of Oct. 10-12, are “just not feasible” in light of the coronavirus pandemic, according to Jerry Colangelo — the chairman of the board of governors for the Hall.
“We’re definitely canceling,” Colangelo told the website. “It’s going to have to be the first quarter of next year. We’ll meet in a couple of weeks and look at the options of how and when and where.”
The Hall, which is about to complete a $23 million renovation, was hoping its star-powered 2020 class could help show off the new facility, but that will have to wait. The Hall, located in Springfield, Mass., closed in early February to complete the renovations and planned to reopen on March 25, but has remained closed because of the pandemic.
The 2020 class also includes former Rockets coach Rudy Tomjanovich, who led Houston to two NBA titles; former Oklahoma State college coach Eddie Sutton, who died Saturday at age 84; Tamika Catchings, the four-time Olympian and 10-time WNBA All-Star; Baylor women’s basketball coach Kim Mulkey; Bentley College women’s basketball coach Barbara Stevens and former FIBA and IOC executive Patrick Baumann.
Longtime Knicks broadcaster Mike Breen also was to receive the Curt Gowdy Award, along with Michael Wilbon.
This isn’t the first major sport to postpone its Hall of Fame induction ceremony. On April 29, Major League Baseball postponed its event, which was to be highlighted by the induction of New York Yankees great Derek Jeter.
MLB’s Class of 2020 — which consists of Jeter, Marvin Miller, Ted Simmons and Larry Walker — will be inducted on July 25, 2021, in Cooperstown, alongside any new members elected as part of the Hall of Fame Class of 2021.
The basketball Hall of Fame, on the other hand, is going to have two separate ceremonies held in the calendar year of 2021 for the Class of 2020 and ’21, according to Colangelo.
“We won’t be combining them,” he said. “The Class of 2020 is a very special class and deserves its own celebration.”