Kobe Bryant will be posthumously inducted into the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame.
The decision was announced Saturday on ESPN in a reveal originally scheduled for the canceled NCAA Men’s Final Four.
Bryant joins Kevin Garnett and Tim Duncan in the class of 2020, as well as WNBA star Tamika Catchings, coaches Kim Mulkey, Rudy Tomjanovich, Barbara Stevens and Eddie Sutton. Longtime FIBA executive Patrick Baumann was also announced as an inductee.
“The Class of 2020 is undoubtedly one of the most historic of all time and the talent and social influence of these nine honorees is beyond measure,” said John L. Doleva, President and CEO of the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame. “In 2020, the basketball community has suffered the unimaginable loss of iconic figures Commissioner David Stern and Kobe Bryant, as well as the game itself due to COVID-19. We have also banded together like never before in appreciation of the game and those who have made it the uniting force it is today. Today we thank the Class of 2020 for all they have done for the game of basketball and we look forward to celebrating them at Enshrinement in August.”
The nominees were announced in December 2019 and also included Chris Bosh, Shawn Marion, Michael Finley, Mark Eaton and Buck Williams.
The 2020 inductees will join those already enshrined in the Hall of Fame, like Michael Jordan, Scottie Pippen and Alonzo Mourning.
Bryant and his 13-year-old daughter Gianna were two of the nine victims who were killed in a helicopter crash in Calabasas, California, on January 26.
Shortly after his death, Hall of Fame Chairman Jerry Colangelo said Bryant would be inducted.
“When people talk about the greats of all time, it’s pretty difficult to say who was No. 1, and who’s 2, and who’s 3, but there are four to five names that always get mentioned, we know that. Kobe’s right there with everybody,” Colangelo said on NBA TV.
“Ironically, I have a meeting in Dallas on Wednesday with the committee to go through the candidates,” he added. “Obviously, the result of whatever names come out of that, he was going to be a first-ballot guy. There’s no doubt in my mind. He’s going to be honored. He’s going into the Hall of Fame.”
The enshrinement ceremony is scheduled to take place on Aug. 28.
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