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Michael Jordan to induct Kobe Bryant into Basketball Hall of Fame

Michael Jordan will induct Kobe Bryant into the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame.

The organization has confirmed that the Chicago Bulls legend will honor the sports icon – who died in a helicopter crash in January 2020 – at the ceremony on May 15, which was originally postponed due to the pandemic.

Explaining the decision, the Hall of Fame said: “Members of the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame Class of 2020 were asked to select previous inductees to accompany and present them to their peers.

“The choice is solely the decision of the incoming Hall of Famers, or their family members if recognized posthumously.”

After Kobe’s passing, Michael paid tribute to the Los Angeles Lakers star during his memorial at the Staples Center.

He said: “Maybe it surprises people that Kobe and I were close friends, but we were very close friends. Kobe was my dear friend. He was like a little brother. Everyone always wanted to talk about the comparisons between him and me, but I just wanted to talk about Kobe.”

READ: Kobe Bryant to be Honored with street name

Michael also hailed his late friend’s “passion” for basketball, which led to many “late night calls” about the sport.

He added: “What Kobe Bryant was to me is the inspiration that someone truly cared about either the way I played the game or the way he wanted to play the game.

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“He wanted to be the best basketball player that he could be. And as I got to know him, I wanted to be the best big brother that I could be. To do that, you had to put up with the aggravation, the late-night calls, and all of the dumb questions.

“I took great pride as I got to know Kobe Bryant that he was just trying to be a better person and a better basketball player.

“We talked about business, we talked about family, we talked about everything and he was just trying to be a better person.”

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