Players become eligible 4 seasons after their last game — and with Kobe retiring in 2016, this was his first opportunity to get in.
The ceremony (which will be formally announced on Saturday) will take place at The Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame in Springfield, MA in August, according to Shams Charania.
It’s a no-brainer — Kobe is widely considered one of the greatest players of all time … during his 20-year run with the Lakers, Kobe won 5 NBA titles and made the All-Star team 18 times!
Need more stats? He was also a 2-time NBA Finals MVP, the 2008 NBA MVP, 2-time NBA scoring champ, 9-time NBA All-Defensive Team and he won the Dunk Contest in ’97!
Of course, Kobe passed away on Jan. 26 in a helicopter crash in Calabasas, CA. He was only 41.
Many of Kobe’s friends and family members have talked about how important it was for Kobe to get in the HOF. Shaquille O’Neal even spoke about it on “Inside the NBA” in the days after Kobe’s death.
“The fact that we’re not gonna be able to joke at his Hall of Fame ceremony, we’re not gonna be able to say, ‘Haha, I got 5 (championships), you got 4,’ the fact that we’re not gonna be able to say, ‘If we would’ve stayed together, we could’ve got 10’ … those were the things you can’t get back.”
The ceremony will undoubtedly be emotional. No word yet on who will speak on Kobe’s behalf.