Kobe Bryant will reportedly be one of three players inducted into the Basketball Hall of Fame for the Class of 2020. The posthumous honor comes after Bryant tragically died in a helicopter crash — one that also claimed the life of his daughter, Gianna, and seven other people — earlier this year.
According to Bleacher Report, players Kevin Garnett and Tim Duncan will also be inducted as part of the incoming class. The formal announcement is said to come on Saturday, and the ceremony will take place later this summer, on the weekend of August 28.
The news that Bryant will be inducted into the Basketball Hall of Fame will likely come as little surprise to fans of the LA Lakers icon, particularly after Hall of Fame chairman Jerry Colangelo announced this past January that Bryant — in addition to Duncan and Garnett — would be included in the incoming class. Colangelo’s statements came prior to any actual voting taking place.
“Expected to be arguably the most epic class ever with Kobe, Tim Duncan and Kevin Garnett,” HOF chairman Jerry Colangelo said at the time, per The Huffington Post.
“Kobe will be honored the way he should be.”
Bryant was a titan of the game, ranking fourth in NBA history with 33,643 points. In addition, he also won five championships, an NBA MVP title, and two Olympic gold medals. He also ranked fifth in NBA history in field goals, and 12th overall in average number of points per game. In total, Bryant played 20 seasons, all with the Los Angeles Lakers.
Meanwhile, Duncan and Garnett can boast their own achievements as well. Duncan was named Rookie of the Year after his debut, and went on to win the title of Finals MVP three times across five championships, along with back-to-back NBA MVP awards.
Garnett made NBA history after being the first player since 1975 to be drafted immediately following high school. Since then, he became the first player ever to earn “25,000 points, 10,000 rebounds, 5,000 assists, 1,500 blocks and 1,500 steals,” per ESPN’s Stats & Info Twitter account.
In addition to the three players, former coaches Rudy Tomjanovich of the Houston Rockets and Eddie Sutton of Oklahoma State will reportedly be inducted as well.
That said, many believe that Bryant will likely be the focus of the ceremony due to his recent passing. He has already been honored at major events such as the Super Bowl and the Oscars, also being eulogized during a star-studded memorial service this past February.
As was previously reported by The Inquisitr, Bryant’s good friend, Rob Pelinka, described the late player’s selflessness by disclosing what was likely his final action before the crash.