When the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame’s class of 2020 is officially announced, Kobe Bryant will be in the lineup.
Part of a class of nominees that was announced in December, Bryant was confirmed as a 2020 inductee by Hall-of-Fame chairman Jerry Colangelo following the 41-year-old’s shocking death on Sunday.
“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.”
A five-time NBA champion and former NBA MVP who won Finals MVP twice and led the league in scoring twice, Bryant spent his entire career with the Los Angeles Lakers.
Players have been inducted into Springfield posthumously in the past. When that’s the case, family members are asked to speak via a video message or in-person. Presumably, Bryant’s family will have an opportunity to speak on his behalf.
As Colangelo noted, the rest of the 2020 class of new potential inductees includes sure-fire selections Tim Duncan and Kevin Garnett. Also on the ballot for the first time are Chris Bosh, Shawn Marion, Michael Finley, Mark Eaton and Buck Williams. Players who have been nominated before but remain on the ballot include Chauncey Billups, Mark Jackson, Tim Hardaway, Richard Hamilton and Chris Webber.
The rest of this year’s official Hall of Fame class will be announced in early April.
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