Kobe Bryant to Posthumously Be Inducted Into Basketball Hall of Fame
By Desiree Murphy
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Kobe Bryant will posthumously be inducted into the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame.
Chairman Jerry Colangelo announced the news in a statement on Monday, just one day after the legendary basketball star and his 13-year-old daughter, Gianna, died in a helicopter crash in Calabasas, California.
"Expected to be arguably the most epic class ever with Kobe, Tim Duncan and Kevin Garnett," Colangelo told Shams Charania of The Athletic. "Kobe will be honored the way he should be."
According to Charania, Bryant "will be part of standard Hall of Fame screening process on Wednesday, with finalists in February at All-Star break and formal inductees at the Final 4 in April." Other high profile nominees include Chris Bosh, Shawn Marion and Michael Finley.
Having retired from his professional basketball career in 2016, Bryant was in his first year of eligibility for the Hall of Fame. The Los Angeles Lakers star previously spoke about wanting fellow NBA legend Michael Jordan or former Los Angeles Lakers coach Phil Jackson to induct him.
"In terms of who might present, for me it's two people: Michael Jordan or Phil Jackson," he told Complex in 2017. "They’ve been the greatest mentors, not only in my career as an athlete, but also as a person. And what I might say is just a lot of thank yous. 'Cause I've had a lotta help along the way. A lotta lotta help."
Bryant spent his entire professional 20-year career with the Lakers, and is a five-time NBA champion, two-time NBA Finals MVP and 18-time All-Star, league MVP. He is survived by his wife, Vanessa, and their three other children -- Natalia, 17, Bianka, 3, and Capri, 7 months.