Los Angeles Lakers legend Kobe Bryant is set to be enshrined at the Naismith Memorial Hall of Fame alongside one of the most star-studded classes in NBA history.
Although the league has managed to outline a timeline for its return to the court by the end of July, the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic has required the Hall of Fame to push back the induction ceremony from the originally scheduled Aug. 29 date.
Of course, the death of Bryant will also be taken into consideration for the enshrinement ceremony that will also feature Tim Duncan, Kevin Garnett, and Tamika Catchings. It seems the committee has already acknowledged the prospect of taking unprecedented action since this is the only time a first-ballot inductee has passed away before their induction.
According top Gary Washburn of The Boston Globe, CEO John Doleva said who speaks on Bryant’s behalf will be someone — or people — close to thim:
“People are going to want to hear about Kobe personally, not just a vignette,” Doleva said. “Whether that’s his wife or his teammates or a combination thereof.”
Doleva added that Bryant’s wife, Vanessa, expressed her desire for the family to be involved:
Doleva said he has received indication that Bryant’s family wants to participate in the ceremony.
“I had the opportunity to speak very briefly with Mrs. Bryant and she was very appreciative and very emotional,” Doleva said. “She has certainly indicated to be very involved, she and her family and others, in his enshrinement ceremony when it happens.”
Bryant’s family played an integral role in the celebration ceremony that was held for him and Gianna at Staples Center a month after the tragic accident. They will now get the chance to honor Bryant’s legacy on the basketball court in what would have been one o the greatest accomplishments of his lifetime up to that point.
Although the Hall of Fame had initial hopes of simply postponing the enshrinement ceremony to the fall, a decision was made to delay it until some point in 2021.