*NBA icon Michael Jordan will represent Kobe Bryant at his Hall of Fame introduction at the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame in May.
Bryant is a member of the 2020 class but the ceremony was postponed last year due to the COVID-19 pandemic. After Bryant’s passing in a helicopter crash with his daughter Giana in January of 2020, Jordan shared an emotional speech at the funeral.
“Kobe was my dear friend, he was like a little brother,” Jordan said through tears that day. “Everyone always wanted to talk about the comparisons between he and I. I just wanted to talk about Kobe.
“When Kobe Bryant died, a piece of me died… I promise you, from this day forward, I will live with the memories of knowing that I had a little brother that I tried to help in every way I could.” In case you missed it, watch Jordan’s tribute to Kobe below.
Jordan, class of 2009, was selected by Bryant’s family to present Kobe during the enshrinement ceremony, scheduled for Saturday, May 15 with “more than 50 Hall-of-Famers” in attendance, per NBC Sports.
Tim Duncan, Kevin Garnett, Tamika Catchings and Rudy Tomjanovich are also among the star-studded 2020 class. Jordan will also present three-time NCAA champion Baylor coach Kim Mulkey, according to the report.
— Shams Charania (@ShamsCharania) April 15, 2021
Kobe’s widow Vanessa Bryant previously spoke out about know much it means to her that Kobe will be posthumously inducted into the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame.
“It’s an incredible accomplishment and honor and we’re extremely proud of him,” the mother of four shared with ESPN. “Obviously we wish that he was here with us to celebrate but it’s definitely the peak of his NBA career.”
“Every accomplishment that he had as an athlete was a stepping stone to be here. We’re incredibly proud of him,” she added, noting that she felt “some solace” in recent months “knowing that he was probably going to be a part of the 2020 Hall of Fame class.”