Kobe Bryant will be posthumously inducted into the Basketball Hall of Fame.
The NBA legend tragically passed away on Sunday (26.01.20) at the age of 41 when his private helicopter crashed in Calabasas, California, killing him and eight other people, including his 13-year-old daughter Gianna.
And following his death, the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame has revealed it will be posthumously inducting Kobe into its ranks.
Chairman Jerry Colangelo confirmed the news on NBA TV on Monday (27.01.20), saying there’s “no doubt” in his mind that Kobe will make into the Hall of Fame.
He said: “Ironically, I have a meeting in Dallas on Wednesday with the committee to go through the candidates. Obviously, the result of whatever names come out of that, he was going to be a first-ballot guy. There’s no doubt in my mind. He’s going to be honoured. He’s going in the Hall of Fame.”
The Basketball Hall of Fame sees potential inductees screened in a process which begins on Wednesday (29.01.20), before a final list is announced in February and formal inductees have their achievements marked in the history books in April.
Since retiring from professional basketball in 2016, this year marks Kobe’s first year of eligibility for the Hall of Fame.
The Los Angeles Lakers star previously spoke about wanting to be inducted, as he said he would have loved for fellow NBA legend Michael Jordan or former Los Angeles Lakers coach Phil Jackson to induct him.
Speaking in 2017, he said: “In terms of who might present, for me it’s two people: Michael Jordan or Phil Jackson. They’ve been the greatest mentors, not only in my career as an athlete, but also as a person. And what I might say is just a lot of thank yous. ‘Cause I’ve had a lotta help along the way. A lotta lotta help.”
Kobe spent his entire professional 20-year career with the Lakers, and is a five-time NBA champion, two-time NBA Finals MVP and 18-time All-Star, league MVP.