Vanessa Bryant will speak in honor of Kobe Bryant during the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame induction, according to Shams Charania of The Athletic.
On Wednesday (May 12), Charania tweeted that Bryant will join Michael Jordan on stage during the ceremony on Saturday (May 15). Jordan, who was close friends with the 18-time All-Star and five-time NBA champion, will present the late basketball star into the Hall of Fame as part of the 2020 class — which will also include Tim Duncan, Kevin Garnett, Patrick Baumann, Kim Mulkey, Tamika Catchings, Barbara Stevens, Eddie Sutton and Rudy Tomjanovich.
Last January, Kobe was tragically killed in a helicopter crash alongside his 13-year-old daughter Gianna and seven others.
The passengers were traveling to a basketball game at the Los Angeles Lakers star’s Mamba Sports Academy in Thousand Oaks, California. The weather was reportedly foggy the day of the flight and investigators believe the pilot was disoriented while trying to travel through the low-lying clouds.
Jordan recently spoke to ESPN about Kobe ahead of the induction ceremony and shared some of their final text messages with each other. The texts, which were dated from Dec. 8, 2019, revealed that the two NBA stars chatted about Jordan’s tequila brand and planned to meet up with each other.
“This tequila is awesome,” Kobe said, to which the former Chicago Bulls star replied, “Thank you, my brother.”
“Yes, sir. Family good?” the former Lakers star asked. Jordan answered, “All good. Yours?”
“All good,” Kobe wrote. On another occasion, Jordan texted, “Happy holidays and hope to catch up soon. Coach Kobe??!”
“I added that little crying/laughing emoji,” Jordan said. Kobe replied, “Ah, back at you. Hey coach, I’m sitting on the bench right now, and we’re blowing this team out. 45-8.”
Check out Charania’s tweet about Bryant speaking at the Hall of Fame below.