At the upcoming induction ceremony at the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame on May 15, No. 23 will be presenting No. 8.
When the late Kobe Bryant is inducted into the Hall of Fame next month, inductee Michael Jordan will serve as his presenter.
Bryant, who will enter the Hall of Fame as part of a superstar class that includes Tim Duncan (who will be presented by David Robinson) and Kevin Garnett (who will be presented by Isiah Thomas), was originally set to be inducted last year, but the pandemic put that plan on hold. Rudy Tomjanovich, the two-time NBA champion coach of the Houston Rockets, will be presented for enshrinement by franchise icons Hakeem Olajuwon and Calvin Murphy.
Jordan, who surprised attendees at Bryant’s public memorial by eulogizing the LA Lakers legend and sharing details of a friendship many didn’t know existed, was inducted into the Hall in ’09.
“Maybe it surprised people that Kobe and I were very close friends,” Jordan said at the February 2020 memorial service. “But we were very close friends. Kobe was my dear friend. He was like a little brother … At first, it was an aggravation. Then it became a passion. As I got to know him, I wanted to be the best big brother I could be.”
In other Jordan news, it was 18 years ago today that His Airness played his last NBA game, a 107-87 loss by the Washington Wizards to the Philadelphia 76ers.
“Now I guess it hits me that I’m not gonna be in a uniform anymore,” Jordan said afterward. “And that’s not a terrible feeling; it’s something that I’ve come to grips with. It’s time, it’s time … I never took the game for granted. I was very true to the game, and the game was very true to me.”
Jordan’s game-worn jersey from that night, later signed, sold for $570,000 earlier this year.