The illustrious career of one Kobe Bean Bryant is one of legend. Drafted directly from Lower Merion High School, he spent twenty years with the Los Angeles Lakers winning five rings, one league MVP, two Finals MVP’s, four All-Star MVP’s, two Olympic Gold Medals, and two scoring titles among numerous other accolades.
The greatness of Kobes legacy lies in the fact that his only career court comparison was to the man that many consider to be the greatest of all time. Therefore, it is only right that the late Bean will be presented into the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame on May 15, 2021 by none other than Michael Jordan himself.
The NBA-sphere blew abuzz when the 18x All-Star changed his on-court number from 8 to 24, speculating that he wanted to be 1x greater than Jordan, number 23, which he arguably was while wearing number 8. The truth is, Bryants first high school number was 24 prior to switching to 33. He originally wanted 24 but couldn’t get it and of course, a Lakers 33 was off-limits.
He summed number 8 from a number he donned in an Adidas camp and that was history, but the Jordan juxtaposition was already brewing. The two careers are intertwined in a symbiosis of greatness that few NBA players ever have or will be able to achieve.
The Basketball Hall of Fame states that presenters must be inductees and garner a history of appearances with the current indictee so there is really no better option than Air Jordan, who is sure to deliver a proper portion to the ceremony.
Jordan spoke at Bryant’s funeral last year after his unfortunate death in a tragic helicopter accident stating, “Everyone always wanted to talk about the comparisons between he and I. I just wanted to talk about Kobe.”
Posthumous inductees are the only exception in which presenters give speeches but it’s not clear who will be speaking as Bryants family is expected to be in attendance. The event was postponed last year due to the pandemic so it is also unclear who else will be on hand this year, eligible to speak to the greatness of Kobe.
After Kobe’s passing, fans and players alike created a petition to change the official NBA logo from a silhouette of the great Jerry West to some likeness of the great number 24, Mr. Kobe Bean Bryant, an initiative that had steam prior to Kobe’s death. Perhaps the movement will gain traction after his induction.
The ceremony will be held at the Mohegan Sun Arena. Other inductees include Tim Duncan, Kevin Garnett, Tamika Catchings, and Kim Mulkey, who will also be presented by Jordan. Congratulations to all the 2021 Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame inductees and Rest In Peace to the late, great Kobe Bryant.