Kobe Bryant will be inducted into the Naismith Basketball Hall of Fame in 2020.
Just a day after his tragic passing in a helicopter crash that killed him, his 13-year old daughter Gianna, and 7 others, Hall of Fame Chairman Jerry Colangelo said "Kobe will be honored the way he should be."
Kobe would have likely been inducted into the Hall of Fame in April anyway, as it was his first year of eligibility for voting along with Tim Duncan, Kevin Garnett, and others. Inductees will be formally announced in April.
While a spokesperson for the Hall of Fame declined to say that the voting process would be waived in the wake of yesterday's tragic news, Colangelo certainly seemed to imply that Bryant would, without a doubt, be inducted this year.
Bryant, who passed at the age of 41, retired after the 2016 season as one of the most prolific and beloved players in NBA history. He finished his career with 33,643 points, most all time for his position. He played his entire career with the Los Angeles Lakers, winning 5 NBA championships, leading the league in scoring twice, winning one MVP award, and finishing his career in the Top 10 in NBA history in virtually every major category. His legacy, which was just beginning, was his support for his daughter Gianna, who was following in his footsteps of basketball greatness. He established the Mamba Sports Academy in California sport-specific training and youth programs. The helicopter he was on was en route to a basketball camp at the academy.
RIP to one of the great competitors of our generation. Even as someone who is not a huge basketball fan, the life and legacy of Kobe Bryant will be remembered forever.