Kobe Bryant will be posthumously inducted into the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame. The five-time NBA champion died, aged 41, in a helicopter crash in January alongside his 13-year-old daughter Gianna and seven others.
Los Angeles Lakers great Bryant retired in 2016; he was the NBA Most Valuable Player in 2008, was Finals MVP twice and earned 18 All-Star selections. He was in the United States team that won Olympic gold in 2008 and 2012.
NBA commissioner Adam Silver said Bryant’s death was “unspeakable” and the league was keen to “honour” him. “Kobe Bryant is synonymous with NBA All-Star and embodies the spirit of this global celebration of our game,” Silver said.
“He always relished the opportunity to compete with the best of the best and perform at the highest level for millions of fans around the world.”
Tim Duncan, a five-time NBA champion with the San Antonio Spurs, and Kevin Garnett, who helped the Boston Celtics win the championship in 2008, were also inducted into the Hall of Fame. The Hall of Fame is named after Dr James Naismith, the Canadian physician who invented basketball.