When Los Angeles Lakers great Kobe Bryant is posthumously enshrined in the basketball Hall of Fame next month he’ll be welcomed in by arguably the sport’s greatest player – Michael Jordan.
Bryant’s family selected Jordan to present him at the May 15 ceremony at the Mohegan Sun Arena in Connecticut, according to a statement from the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame.
The five-time NBA champion and the fourth all-time leading scorer in NBA history was elected into the Hall last April in his first year of eligibility – just months after Bryant, his 13-year-old daughter, Gianna, and seven others were killed in a January 26 helicopter crash in Southern California.
Jordan described Bryant as a little brother in an emotional speech at his memorial service at the Staples Center, where Bryant made so many highlights during his 20-year career.
“When Kobe Bryant died, a piece of me died, and as I look at this arena and across the globe, a piece of you died,” he said last February. “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. Please rest in peace, little brother.”
The enshrinement ceremony for Bryant and the Hall of Fame Class of 2020, which includes players Tim Duncan, Kevin Garnett and 10-time WNBA All-Star Tamika Catchings, was delayed because of the Covid-19 pandemic.
Jordan also will present Baylor coach Kim Mulkey, who led her team to three NCAA national championships and is the only person to ever win championships as a player, assistant coach and a head coach.
The ceremony will also honor coaches Rudy Tomjanovich, Barbara Stevens and Eddie Sutton, who died in May, and Swiss basketball executive Patrick Baumann, who died in 2018.