Los Angeles Lakers legend Kobe Bryant was posthumously inducted into the Naismith Basketball Hall of Fame, according to an official announcement by the organization this Saturday.
Bryant played 20 seasons in the NBA, all with Los Angeles Lakers. During those 20 years, he was named 18 times as the NBA All-Star, 2007 NBA MVP, two NBA Finals MVP, and five-time NBA champion.
Generally, the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame has a three-year waiting period between the time a player’s career officially ends and when he can be considered for admission.
However, Bryant’s official admission this Saturday, April 4, occurred less than three months after the helicopter accident, where together with his 13-year-old daughter Gianna and seven other people, they died in Calabasas, California.
In addition to Bryant, former Boston Celtics forward Kevin Garnett and San Antonio Spurs forward Tim Duncan were also formally inducted into the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame.
Like Bryant, Garnett was drafted directly from school in 1995 and played 22 seasons with the Minnesota Timberwolves, Boston Celtics, and Brooklyn Nets. He won his only NBA championship in 2007-2008 against Bryant and the Los Angeles Lakers. Garnett was a 15-time NBA All-Star and winner of the 2004 NBA MVP Award.
Similarly, Duncan was also a five-time NBA champion and two
times MVP of the NBA finals. His team, the San Antonio Spurs, often
faced the Bryant Lakers in the playoffs, and the two legends shared
mutual respect and admiration, on and off the court. Like Garnett,
Duncan was also a 15-time NBA All-Star and winner of Rookie of the Year for
the NBA in 1998, on top of that he was named NBA MVP in the seasons
consecutive years of 2002 and 2003.
“We all have criteria that we consider in terms of the nominees,” said Jerry Colangelo, the president of the Hall of Fame. “There is a complete list of things that we see. And every year there is usually one person who stands out with a variety of all those honors. But this time, with these three, the cumulative is incredible. ”
Typically, the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame announces its class of 2020 consecrations during the semifinal game of the NCAA tournament, but with its cancellation due to the coronavirus pandemic, the official announcement was televised on ESPN.
The ceremony will take place on August 29 in Springfield, MA. It is unknown who will speak on behalf of Kobe Bryant during the induction ceremony.