Kobe Bryant will enter the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame next year. The NBA announced on Saturday (Nov. 28) that the ceremony to induct the late athlete, along with Tim Duncan and Kevin Garnett and other stars will take place in May 2021.
The Hall of Fame weekend was set to have taken place in Springfield, Massachusetts, the birthplace of basketball, in August, but it was delayed and pushed back because of the coronavirus pandemic. The association revealed that the weekend will now be held from May 13-15. Bryant, Duncan, and Garnett, will headline the nine-member class of inductees.
The Hall of Fame Class of 2020 also includes four-time National Coach of the Year Eddie Sutton, two-time NBA Champion coach Rudy Tomjanovich, 10-time WNBA All-Star and four-time Olympic gold medalist Tamika Catchings, three-time NCAA National Championship Coach of Baylor Kim Mulkey, five-time Division II National Coach of the Year Barbara Stevens and longtime FIBA executive Patrick Baumann. Baumann died in October 2018.
“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 L. Doleva, President and CEO of the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame said in April. “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.”
Bryant will be honored at the ceremony posthumously. The basketball legend and his daughter, Gianna Bryant, died on Jan. 26 in a helicopter accident. Seven others were also killed in the crash.