Kobe Bryant, Tim Duncan and Kevin Garnett were named among the finalists to be considered for induction into the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame in 2020.

Bryant died aged 41 in a helicopter crash alongside his 13-year-old daughter Gianna and seven others in California last month.

The Los Angeles Lakers great, an 18-time All-Star and five-time champion, was one of four first-time finalists named on Friday.

Duncan, the former San Antonio Spurs star with 15 All-Star appearances and five championships, and Garnett – another NBA great – are also finalists.

A four-time Olympic gold medallist with the United States, Tamika Catchings is the other first-time finalist.

Kim Mulkey, Barbara Stevens, Eddie Sutton and Rudy Tomjanovich are previous finalists also up for consideration again.

"When the nominees for the Class of 2020 were announced in December, we knew this class had the potential of being one of the most historic of all time," Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame chairman Jerry Colangelo said in a statement.

"The untimely passing of Kobe Bryant has left us in a state of reflective mourning and we're proud to honour his legacy while also recognising seven other individuals who have meant so much to our game.

"We congratulate our finalists and those who have supported them on their journeys, and we look forward to revealing the Class of 2020 at the Final Four in Atlanta."

The announcement will take place on April 4.

Star trio Kobe Bryant, Tim Duncan and Kevin Garnett are among the nominees for the 2020 Basketball Hall of Fame.

Los Angeles Lakers great Bryant, San Antonio Spurs icon Duncan and Boston Celtics favourite Garnett headline the 2020 class of potential inductees.

Former Miami Heat star Chris Bosh and Shawn Marion are also on the list of 50 people nominated for the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame.

The finalists will be announced during the All-Star Weekend in Chicago in February, with the inductees unveiled in April.

Regarded as arguably the Lakers' greatest ever player, prolific scorer Bryant spent his entire 20-year career with the storied Los Angeles franchise.

An 18-time All-Star, Bryant – who retired in 2016 – won five NBA championships and two Finals MVP awards, while he was crowned the league's MVP in 2008.

Like Bryant, Duncan was also a one-team player after spending his career with the Spurs, where he claimed five NBA rings during his 19 seasons before retiring in 2016.

Former Spurs big man Duncan was also a three-time Finals MVP, two-time league MVP and 15-time All-Star.

Garnett helped the Celtics to NBA glory in 2008 after being crowned the 2004 MVP during his time with the Minnesota Timberwolves, while Bosh ended his career with two championships and 11 All-Star appearances.

Gregg Popovich said he is "not here to make history" after confirming Tim Duncan and not Becky Hammon led the San Antonio Spurs following his ejection.

Popovich was ejected early in the third quarter of Saturday's 121-116 NBA loss at home to the Portland Trail Blazers – San Antonio's fifth consecutive defeat.

The exit of head coach Popovich led to the belief that assistant Hammon made history by becoming the first woman to serve as head coach of a men's professional sports team in the United States.

However, Popovich explained the coaching dynamic post-game, confirming Duncan took charge of the Spurs (5-8) after his ejection.

Asked if he considered allowing Hammon to make history, Popovich replied: "I'm not here to make history."

Hammon was promoted to the front of the bench on Popovich's coaching staff in 2018.

The 42-year-old has been with the Spurs as an assistant since 2014. She was head coach of San Antonio's Las Vegas Summer League teams in 2015 and 2016, leading the 2015 squad to the championship.

Hammon is the first full-time, salaried female coach in NBA history.

Tim Duncan has returned to the San Antonio Spurs as one of Gregg Popovich's assistant coaches.

Duncan, 43, spent his entire 19-year playing career with the Spurs and retired following the 2015-16 season.

Now he will once again link up with the man who has led the franchise since 1996, with San Antonio bidding to get back to the heights they enjoyed during Duncan's heyday. 

“It is only fitting, that after I served loyally for 19 years as Tim Duncan's assistant, that he returns the favour,” Popovich said in a press release. 

© 2020 SportsMaxTV All Rights Reserved.