While live games are stalled due to the coronavirus outbreak, tradition must go on. Today, multiple sources are reporting Kobe Bryant will be posthumously inducted into the Hall of Fame Class of 2020 along with Kevin Garnett and Tim Duncan, all of whom retired from the league in 2016. Also inducted will be former Houston Rockets coach Rudy Tomjanovich and former collegiate coach Eddie Sutton, among others. A formal announcement is expected to be made tomorrow, 4/4 at 12pm EST.
The trio of former all stars combined to win 11 championships and 4 MVP awards across their illustrious careers, making the selection a complete no-brainer. As we all know, Kobe Bryant died in a tragic helicopter accident on January 26th – so the official ceremony, normally held in August, will be emotionally intense.
Kobe spent his entire career (20 years!) with the Los Angeles Lakers, winning five championships along the way and an MVP award in 2008. The news of Bryant’s death sent shockwaves around the sports world. NBA teams all over the league began running out the 24 second shot clock at the beginning of each game to honor his famous jersey, #24. A Lakers vs. Clippers game was even postponed to give the team some time to grapple with the seemingly impossible news. At the start of the following game, an emotional thirty minute pregame tribute was held at Staples Center for all fans, friends, and family of the great Kobe Bryant.
Although we are not sure when this year’s induction ceremony will be held due to COVID-19 restrictions, we do know that it will be an opportunity to honor legends of the game, both players and staff. And while each new member wholeheartedly deserves it, there is no denying that Kobe, one of the greatest players to ever do it, will be the man of the hour.