The NBA legend tragically passed away in January at the age of 41 when his private helicopter crashed in Calabasas, California, taking his life and eight other people, including his 13-year-old daughter Gianna.
Fittingly, he has been unveiled as one of the inductees into the Basketball Hall of Fame’s Class of 2020, alongside fellow NBA stars Kevin Garnett and Tim Duncan.
The ceremony is set to take place at The Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame in Springfield, Massachusetts, in August.
Kobe was originally in talks to be posthumously inducted into the Hall of Fame following his passing in January, but the decision was not finalized until the list of potential inductees had been screened.
Prior to the screening process, Chairman Jerry Colangelo said there was “no doubt” in his mind that Kobe would make into the Hall of Fame.
He said: “Ironically, I have a meeting in Dallas on Wednesday with the committee to go through the candidates. Obviously, the result of whatever names come out of that, he was going to be a first-ballot guy. There’s no doubt in my mind. He’s going to be honored. He’s going in the Hall of Fame.”
Since retiring from professional basketball in 2016, this year marks Kobe’s first year of eligibility for the Hall of Fame.
The Los Angeles Lakers star previously spoke about wanting to be inducted, as he said he would have loved for fellow NBA legend Michael Jordan or former Los Angeles Lakers coach Phil Jackson to induct him.
Speaking in 2017, he said: “In terms of who might present, for me it’s two people: Michael Jordan or Phil Jackson. They’ve been the greatest mentors, not only in my career as an athlete, but also as a person. And what I might say is just a lot of thank yous. ‘Cause I’ve had a lotta help along the way. A lotta lotta help.”
Kobe spent his entire professional 20-year career with the Lakers, and is a five-time NBA champion, two-time NBA Finals MVP and 18-time All-Star and one-time league MVP.