SPRINGFIELD, Mass. (WPRI) — Hours after the news of Kobe Bryant’s death in a tragic helicopter crash in Calabasas, California, the Basketball Hall of Fame is thinking of ways to honor the all-star.
The 41-year-old, his daughter and seven others died in the crash Sunday morning.
“Kobe was an inspiration to everybody. Five championships, eighteen all-star games, eligible to come into basketball hall of fame this summer. We were so looking forward to it,” John Delova, President of Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame said.
Players have to be retired for four seasons to be inducted to the Springfield Massachusetts hall of fame.
Bryant retired in 2016 after two decades with the Lakers. The 2020 selection process starts next week and Delova says Bryant is a front-runner.
“Kobe was one of our top candidates this Summer and obviously will be elected. If you asked me yesterday or two weeks ago or two months ago I would say Kobe will be elected into the hall of fame. It’s a very different experience now. It’s in memoriam and that’s very difficult for the hall of fame. Especially for a guy that’s 41 and had so much impact on the game,” Delova said.
The people chosen to be elected into the Hallf of Fame will be announced at the NBA All Star game on February 16th.