Kobe Bryant, Tim Duncan, Kevin Garnett with six other basketball legends were recently announced as the latest class of Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame inductees in Springfield, Massachusetts.
The Hall of Fame's announcement was delayed from the NCAA's Final Four weekend in Atlanta after the tournament was canceled due to the coronavirus pandemic. The announcement comes a little over two months after the late Kobe Bryant died in a helicopter crash in Los Angeles.
Bryant's wife Vanessa said in an interview with ESPN:
"We wish that he was here with us to celebrate but it's definitely the peak of his NBA career and every accomplishment that he had as an athlete was a stepping stone to be here. So we’re incredibly proud of him, and there’s some solace in knowing that he was probably going to be part of the 2020 Hall of Fame class,"
John Doleva, the president and CEO of the Hall of Fame, said this class was
"Undoubtedly one of the most historic of all time. In 2020, the basketball community has suffered the unimaginable loss of iconic figures Commissioner David Stern and Kobe Bryant, as well as the game itself due to COVID-19. We have also banded together like never before in appreciation of the game and those who have made it the uniting force it is today."
The trio were inducted alongiside basketball coaches Eddie Sutton, Rudy Tomjanovich, Kim Mulkey, and Barbara Stevens as well as WNBA All-Star Tamika Catchings and French basketball executive Patrick Baumann.