The Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame has released the full list of inductees and presenters for the 2020 class ceremony next month. And basketball fans are marveling at one detail: When Kobe Bryant is inducted into the Basketball Hall of Fame, the man presenting him will be none other than his hero, Michael Jordan.
Bryant – along with NBA legends Tim Duncan and Kevin Garnett – is finally set to be inducted into the class of 2020, after the event was pushed back due to Covid-19. The Hall of Fame says members of the 2020 class were asked “to select previous inductees to accompany and present them to their peers” during the ceremony. In Bryant’s case, who passed away in January 2020, the decision was left to his family – and they chose MJ.
The connection between Jordan and Bryant had always been a special one. Bryant admittedly spent most of his early career trying to mimic (and out-do) Jordan. In 2017, when the Bleacher Report asked Kobe if his moves were inspired by Jordan, his response was: “Damn near 100 percent.”
However, for Jordan, their bond carried on off the court, which was evident when he gave an emotional speech at Bryant’s L.A. memorial last year.
“He wanted to be the best basketball player he could be,” Jordan said during the speech. “And as I got to know him, I wanted to be the best big brother that I could be.” He continued, “When Kobe Bryant died, a piece of me died.”
There’s no one better to present Kobe Bryant’s enshrinement than MJ himself. The 2020 Basketball Hall of Fame ceremony will take place on May 15 at the Mohegan Sun Arena in Connecticut. Check out the full list of inductees below.