Kobe Bryant, A Hall Of Famer
Etonline.com: Kobe Bryant is officially a Hall of Famer.
The late NBA superstar was announced as one of the newest inductees in the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame's Class of 2020 on Saturday, headlining a class that will also include Tim Duncan, Kevin Garnett, WNBA star Tamika Catchings and more.
Bryant, Duncan, and Garnett are all entering the Hall of Fame in their first year of eligibility -- three years after they played their last NBA game. The ceremony is set to take place in August at the Hall of Fame site in Springfield, Massachusetts.
The 2020 Hall of Fame class will also include coaches Rudy Tomjanovich, Eddie Sutton, Kim Mulkey and Barbara Stevens and FIBA executive Patrick Baumann.
Bryant spent all 20 seasons of his NBA career with the Los Angeles Lakers after being drafted by the team in 1996, at age 17. He won five NBA championships, one league MVP, two Finals MVPs, was an 18-time All-Star and is the fourth-place leading scorer in league history. He also won two Olympic gold medals with the United States men's national team.
The Lakers shared a tribute video to Bryant on Saturday, captioning the clip simply, "Champion. MVP. Hall of Famer. #MambaForever."
Bryant's wife, Vanessa, and their 17-year-old daughter, Natalia, spoke with ESPN following the announcement, sharing their emotional reaction to the Hall of Fame news.
"We're incredibly proud of him," Vanessa said. "We wish that he was here with us to celebrate, but it's definitely the peak of his NBA career."