Michael Jordan will honor Kobe Bryant when the late Los Angeles Lakers legend is inducted into the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame next month, the organisation said Thursday.
Jordan, who spoke at Bryant’s memorial service last year following the NBA superstar’s death in a helicopter accident, will also honor women’s basketball coach Kim Mulkey.
The ceremony for the Class of 2020 will take place on May 15 at Mohegan Sun Arena in Montville, Connecticut. The ceremony was postponed last year due to the pandemic.
Jordan tearfully referred to Bryant as his “little brother” during last year’s memorial service for the Lakers icon.
“Kobe was my dear friend, he was like a little brother,” Jordan said at the time. “When Kobe Bryant died, a piece of me died. 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.”
Joining Bryant in entering the Hall of Fame are several legends of basketball including 15-time All-Star and three-time NBA Finals MVP Tim Duncan along with former Minnesota Timberwolves and Boston Celtics icon Kevin Garnett.
Four-time Olympic gold medalist Tamika Catchings will also be enshrined along with two-time NBA champion coach Rudy Tomjanovich.
Patrick Baumann, the Swiss former secretary general of the International Basketball Federation who died suddenly of a heart attack in 2018, will also be enshrined.