Michael Jordan will present Kobe Bryant into the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame during the organization’s induction ceremony, the Hall announced on Thursday (April 15). The upcoming ceremony, which will take place on May 15, was postponed last year due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
Bryant is set to be inducted along with others in the 2020 class, including Tim Duncan, Kevin Garnett, Patrick Baumann, Tamika Catchings and more. According to Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame rules, presenters must already be inducted into the Hall and often appear onstage alongside their inductee. Jordan was bestowed the honor in 2009.
Presenters do not usually give speeches, the Hall noted, except in the case of posthumous inductees. It’s not clear yet who will be giving a speech on Bryant's behalf, but his family is expected to attend the event. Furthermore, presenters are selected by “incoming Hall of Famers or their family members if recognized posthumously,” the Hall added.
Jordan gave an emotional speech at Bryant’s funeral last February.
“In the game of basketball, in life, as a parent — Kobe left nothing in the tank. He left it all on the floor,” he said at the time. “Maybe it surprised people that Kobe and I were very close friends, but we were very close friends.”
“Kobe was my dear friend. He was like a little brother,” he continued. “Everyone always wanted to talk about the comparisons between he and I. I just wanted to talk about Kobe.”
The Hall of Fame announced Bryant as a finalist last year, just weeks after the 41-year-old basketball legend tragically passed away in a helicopter crash with his daughter Gianna and seven others.
The Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame induction ceremony will be held on Saturday (May 15) at the Mohegan Sun Arena. See their announcement below.