American professional Basketball player Kobe Bryant has been Inducted into a NBA hall of fame in his first year eligibility. Bryant, an 18-time All-Star and five-time NBA champion during his 20-year career with the Los Angeles Lakers, was among the eight finalists who were announced in February.
The 2020 class includes five-time NBA Champion Tim Duncan and 15-time All Star Kevin Garnett. WNBA great Tamika Catchings, two-time NBA champion coach Rudy Tomjanovich, longtime Baylor women’s coach Kim Mulkey, 1,000-game winner Barbara Stevens of Bentley and three-time Final Four coach Eddie Sutton will also be inducted at the enshrinement ceremony in Springfield, Massachusetts, is scheduled for Aug. 29.
Bryant died with his 13-year-old daughter Gianna and seven others in a helicopter crash on January 26 as the group was on its way to a basketball tournament. This was about three weeks before the Hall of Fame announced that he was a finalist.
He was one of the greatest competitors who stepped on the court and made sure his impact was felt on both sides of the ball. He is ranked 4th on the NBA’s career points list (33,643). We congratulate posthumously 5x NBA Champion Kobe Bryant. #20HoopClass pic.twitter.com/dw9WOlt1Gj— Basketball HOF (@Hoophall) April 4, 2020
Jeanie Buss, the controlling owner and president of the Lakers, honored Bryant’s legacy in a statement, saying, “No amount of words can fully describe what Kobe Bryant meant to the Los Angeles Lakers.”
“Kobe was not only a proven winner and a champion, he gave everything he had to the game of basketball. His fierce competitiveness, work ethic, and drive were unmatched,” Buss added.
“The Class of 2020 is undoubtedly one of the most historic of all time and the talent and social influence of these nine honorees is beyond measure,” said John Doleva, chief executive of the Hall of Fame.
“In 2020, the basketball community has suffered the unimaginable loss of iconic figures Commissioner David Stern and Kobe Bryant, as well as the game itself due to COVID-19.
“We have also banded together like never before in appreciation of the game and those who have made it the uniting force it is today”.
“Today we thank the Class of 2020 for all they have done for the game of basketball and we look forward to celebrating them at enshrinement in August.”