Los Angeles Lakers legend Kobe Bryant was among nine people elected to the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame, the organization announced Saturday.
Bryant, who died Jan. 26 in a helicopter crash in Calabasas at the age of 41, retired in 2016. He led the Lakers to five NBA championships during his career, winning two scoring titles on his way to 33,643 points, which put him fourth on the NBA’s all-time scoring list.
Also named to the hall were Tim Duncan, Kevin Garnett, Rudy Tomjanovich, Eddie Sutton, Tamika Catchings, Kim Mulkey, Barbara Stevens and Patrick Baumann.
Tomjanovich — who coached the Houston Rockets to two NBA titles and played in the league for several years — coached the Lakers for part of the 2004-05 season.
Bryant’s widow, Vanessa, told ESPN on Saturday that the HOF election was the “peak of his NBA career.”
“Obviously we wish that he was here with us to celebrate,” she said. “We’re incredibly proud of him. And there’s some solace in (Kobe) knowing that he was probably going to be a part of the 2020 Hall of Fame class.”
The entire 2020 class will be formally inducted Aug. 29 in Springfield, Massachusetts.
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