BREAKING: Kobe Bryant to be inducted into Naismith Basketball Hall of Fame

Kobe Bryant
CHICAGO, UNITED STATES: Los Angeles Lakers guard Kobe Bryant(L) and Chicago Bulls guard Michael Jordan(R) talk during a free-throw attempt during the fourth quarter 17 December at the United Center in Chicago. Bryant, who is 19 and bypassed college basketball to play in the NBA, scored a team-high 33 points off the bench, and Jordan scored a team-high 36 points. The Bulls defeated the Lakers 104-83. AFP PHOTO VINCENT LAFORET (Photo credit should read VINCENT LAFORET/AFP via Getty Images)

It will not happen in the way any of us imagined but Los Angeles Lakers legend Kobe Bryant was officially announced as an inductee into the Naismith Basketball Hall of Fame on Saturday.

Lakers owner Jeanie Buss and president Rob Pelinka released a statement congratulating Bryant:

Vanessa Bryant also spoke about the honor:

The late Bryant will be joined by rival players Kevin Garnett and Tim Duncan in the 2020 class to be enshrined this summer. Also included in the class are former coaches Rudy Tomjanovich, Eddie Sutton, Kim Mulkey, and Barbara Stevens, FIBA exec Patrick Bauman, and WNBA superstar (and childhood friend of Bryant) Tamika Catchings.

Kobe will go into the Hall of Fame as the fourth greatest scorer in NBA history as well as one of the all-time winners, having attained five championships in his 20-year career with the Lakers. He was a one-time MVP, a two-time Finals MVP, an 18-time All-Star, a 15-time All-NBA player, 12-time All-NBA defensive player and a two-time Olympics gold medalist.

All that’s left to see now is who will officially induct Bryant into the Hall of Fame. He has previously spoken in an interview about wanting either Phil Jackson or Michael Jordan – his longtime head coach and his idol – to do so. Bryant’s untimely and tragic passing has unfortunately taken away the opportunity for his friends, family and millions of fans to experience the speech he would have given in Springfield. But it will be emotional seeing those who knew him best speak on his behalf.

Congratulations to Kobe Bryant. An All-Star. An MVP. A Champion. And now, a Hall-of-Famer.

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