The Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame has announced Kobe Bryant will be immortalised during the upcoming ceremony by the only man who could possibly do the occasion justice: Michael Jordan.
The legendary NBA icon and former Chicago Bulls player will also welcome Baylor University women’s basketball coach Kim Mulkey into their ranks, making His Airness the only Hall of Famer to present multiple enshrinements this year.
Honouring a figure of Bryant’s sheer stature aside, the decision is exceedingly appropriate given his personal relationship with MJ. The two remained close friends for decades underscored by a deep mutual respect that transcended beyond basketball alone.
“At first, [the questions were] an aggravation,” Jordan recalled during Kobe Bryant’s memorial service.
“Then it became a passion. As I got to know him, I wanted to be the best big brother I could be.”
Alongside Mamba, Mulkey, as well as Kevin Garnett and Tim Duncan – no further introductions necessary – the following names will also be inducted into the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame:
- Five-time NBA All-Star & two-time NBA championship coach Rudy Tomjanovich
- Former Clark University, Massachusetts, & Bentley University Head Women’s Basketball Coach Barbara Stevens
- Veteran high school basketball coach Eddie Sutton (posthumous, passed in May 2020)
- Former President of the Global Association of International Sports Federation & Secretary General of the International Basketball Federation Patrick Baumann (posthumous, passed in October 2020)
Check out the complete run of current Hall of Famers below.