The Naismith Basketball Hall of Fame class of 2020 was already set up to be a special one, with some of the greatest names in the sport, names like Tim Duncan and Kevin Garnett, set to get in. But now that class takes on an even greater significance as Shams Charania of The Athletic and Stadium reported that Kobe Bryant, who tragically died in a helicopter crash in California on Sunday, will be inducted into the Naismith Basketball Hall of Fame.
Kobe Bryant will be a first-ballot enshrinement into the Naismith Basketball Hall of Fame class of 2020.— Shams Charania (@ShamsCharania) January 27, 2020
"Expected to be arguably the most epic class ever with Kobe, Tim Duncan and Kevin Garnett," HOF chairman Jerry Colangelo says. "Kobe will be honored the way he should be."
Bryant will be part of standard Hall of Fame screening process on Wednesday, with finalists in February at All-Star break and formal inductees at the Final 4 in April. https://t.co/OYFMwFIJxD— Shams Charania (@ShamsCharania) January 27, 2020
Basketball Hall of Fame chairman Jerry Colangelo stated that the 2020 class is expected to be one of the "most epic" classes in the history of the sport.
Along with Bryant, the Naismith Basketball Hall of Fame class of 2020 is expected to include some of his fiercest rivals. The list of players that could be inducted in 2020 includes the aforementioned all-time great San Antonio Spurs forward Duncan (played a total of 30 playoff games against Bryant), Pistons legends Ben Wallace and Chauncey Billups (defeated Bryant and the Lakers in 2004 NBA Finals), and Shawn Marion, whose Suns teams were a huge threat to the Lakers dynasty throughout the 2000s.
The full Hall of Fame class will be revealed in April. Colangelo maintained that "Kobe will be honored the way he should be."