KEY POINTS

  • Kobe Bryant's long-awaited induction into the Basketball Hall of Fame gets an official date
  • Tim Duncan, Kevin Garnett and Rudy Tomjanovich are among the other names entering the Basketball Hall of Fame
  • The May 2021 event will be a posthumous honor for Bryant, who died in January

After a long wait, Kobe Bryant and other big NBA names will finally get enshrined at the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame. Aside from the late Los Angeles Lakers star, other players set to be inducted include Kevin Garnett, Tim Duncan and former NBA champion coach Rudy Tomjanovich.

The NBA originally planned to hold the ceremonies back in August. But due to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, the Hall of Fame weekend had to be moved to a new date. That was officially announced by the league Saturday, revealing that Basketball Hall of Fame festivities will be held next year, from May 13 to 15, in Springfield, Massachusetts.

Bryant, Duncan and Garnett have 48 All-Star game selections and 11 NBA titles across their names. They headlined the list of names for the upcoming class in April. They are also players who made it into the Hall in their first years as finalists alongside WNBA great Tamika Catchings.

Other sports personalities set to enter the Basketball Hall Of Fame include Baylor women’s coach Kim Mulkey, Barbara Stevens of Bentley and three-time Final Four coach Eddie Sutton. Sutton passed away on May 23.

Another name set to be inducted is the late FIBA secretary general Patrick Baumann. He passed away in October 2018 and was elected by the international committee.

It will be another posthumous tribute to Bryant, who perished back in January together with his daughter, Gianna, in a helicopter crash. The “Black Mamba” is a well-loved NBA icon who wrapped up his career in 2016. He has five NBA titles across his name and was the NBA Most Valuable Player in 2008.

Bryant, Duncan and Garnett will join other NBA players who were previously inducted into the Hall of Fame. That list includes Michael Jordan, Shaquille O’Neal, Charles Barkley and John Wooden.

Lakers governor Jeanie Buss released the statement back in April when Bryant was elected into the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame.

“Kobe was not only a proven winner and a champion, he gave everything he had to the game of basketball,” Buss said. “His fierce competitiveness, work ethic and drive were unmatched. Those qualities helped Kobe lead us to five titles – and have now brought him to the Hall of Fame, where he will be enshrined with the greatest to have ever played the game. No one deserves it more.”

Kobe Bryant #24 of the Los Angeles Lakers calls for an inbound pass in front of Wesley Matthews #2 of the Portland Trail Blazers Kobe Bryant #24 of the Los Angeles Lakers calls for an inbound pass in front of Wesley Matthews #2 of the Portland Trail Blazers Photo: Getty Images | Harry How