The news of Kobe Bryant’s death has devastated basketball fans all across the world, with the 41-year-old Los Angeles Lakers legend having been a hero to so many.
However, although Kobe may no longer be with us, his enduring legacy will undoubtedly live on, with generations of people remembering his skill, resilience and determination.
Kobe will now be inducted into the Naismith Basketball Hall of Fame as part of the 2020 class, in testament to his inimitable influence on the world of basketball.
The honour has been reported by Shams Charania, a sports writer for The Athletic and Stadium.
Kobe Bryant will be a first-ballot enshrinement into the Naismith Basketball Hall of Fame class of 2020.
As reported by Charania, Hall of Fame chairman Jerry Colangelo made the following statement on Kobe’s posthumous induction:
Expected to be arguably the most epic class ever with Kobe, Tim Duncan and Kevin Garnett. Kobe will be honored the way he should be.
Many fans have taken to social media to lament how Kobe will sadly never get to receive this prestigious accolade in person.
One person tweeted:
Devastated he never got to see himself inducted, he’ll never get to give that speech man.. worked at basketball for 36+ years for that moment.
Kobe Bryant’s passing is further proof that the Hall of Fame shouldn’t wait so many years to induct surefire players after they retire. Induct them right away. The next day is never guaranteed and therefore not every great legend is guaranteed to get that moment. Just a thought.
Kobe is part of the 2020 class of nominees which was announced in December 2019, alongside the likes of Muggsy Bogues, Tim Duncan, Kevin Garnett, and Tim Hardaway, as Yahoo! Sports reports.
Paying tribute to Kobe, Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame tweeted the following statement:
The Hall of Fame joins the rest of the basketball world in mourning the untimely passing of Kobe Bryant, a nominee for this year’s #20HoopClass and an icon of the game. We offer our sincerest condolences to the Bryant Family and those affected by this tragedy.
On account of Kobe’s death, the Hall of Fame will be bypassing the usual election process, making him the very first inductee of the 2020 class. The remainder of this year’s class will be announced in early April.
Our thoughts are with the families of those who have died in the recent helicopter crash.
If you have experienced a bereavement and would like to speak with someone in confidence contact Cruse Bereavement Care via their national helpline on 0808 808 1677.