Kobe Bryant will likely be posthumously inducted into the Naismith Basketball of Fame. Hall chairman Jerry Colangelo said the Los Angeles Lakes star will be a first-ballot enshrinement into the Hall of Fame’s 2020 class.
He added, “Expected to be arguably the most epic class ever with Kobe, Tim Duncan and Kevin Garnett.” Bryant was a five-time NBA champion, an 18-time NBA All-Star, a two-time NBA Finals MVP and the NBA’s Most Valuable Player of 2008. He scored 60 points in his final game in the NBA.
Kobe and daughter Gigi had attended a Catholic mass at their local church hours before they both died in the tragic helicopter crash. They went to the 7 a.m. service at the Our Lady Queen of Angels in Newport Beach and both received Communion. He had started using helicopters to get around because of his daughters.
He lived in Orange County and traveled to Los Angeles to practice with the Lakers, which sometimes made it difficult for him to drop off and pick up the girls at school, or make it to their events. During an interview in 2018 he said, “Traffic started getting really, really bad. And I was sitting in traffic and I wound up missing like a school play, I had to figure out a way where I could still train and focus on the craft but still not compromise family time.” A 15-minute helicopter ride turned out to be the solution. His wife, Vanessa, offered to pick up the girls from school instead, but it was important to him that he do it. He did have a deal with his wife that they would never fly together.
He also taught himself to play “Moonlight Sonata” in piano to impress his wife.