It’s been almost two-and-a-half months since the NBA season went on hiatus amid the COVID-19 pandemic, but there is growing optimism that we’ll see a return to action sometime toward the end of July. The league is working together with the owners and players to hammer out a scenario in which they might safely resume play in a bubble location, such as Walt Disney World Orlando.
But that doesn’t mean everything is going back to normal. Large-scale gatherings in public spaces are still mostly inadvisable, if they can be avoided, which is why we continue to see events all across the spectrum cancelled or postponed. The Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame ceremony, where Kobe Bryant, Kevin Garnett, and Tim Duncan are set to be enshrined, is the latest casualty.
The annual event was originally slated to take place at its location in Springfield, Mass. in late August, although officials had tentatively pushed it until October in the hope that things might get back to normal by then. That hasn’t happened, and so on Wednesday, Hall chairman Jerry Colangelo announced that the enshrinement ceremony will be moved until sometime in the spring of next year.
Jerry Colangelo, the chairman of the board of the governors for the Hall, told ESPN on Wednesday that enshrinement ceremonies for the Class of 2020, one of the most star-studded lineups ever which includes Tim Duncan, Kevin Garnett and the late Kobe Bryant, will be moved to spring of 2021.
“We’re definitely canceling,” Colangelo said. “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.”
Each year, the Hall in Springfield hosts the three-day event that involves nearly 3,000 visitors, making social distancing measures virtually impossible. It figured to be a highly-emotional event, given the tragic passing of Lakers legend Kobe Bryant earlier this year. Colangelo also clarified that the enshrinement ceremony for the 2021 class will be held separately at a later date to be determined.