Let’s be real: Kobe Bryant has been bound for the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame since the day he played his last game for the Los Angeles Lakers. He just had to wait the mandatory five years before becoming officially eligible for induction.
But now it’s official. As of Saturday, April 4, 2020, Bryant is officially a Hall of Famer. And while it may have been a foregone conclusion, it’s no less worth celebrating.
Bryant is arguably the greatest Laker of all time. The 2008 NBA MVP also won two NBA Finals MVPs and five championships over 20 years in purple and gold, and his resume is unassailable. Some of his stats are still eye-popping, though, as Bryant:
- scored the fourth-most points in NBA history (33,643) and the most of any Laker
- had 12 All-NBA selections
- was named to 18 All-Star games
- was named to the NBA All-Defensive Team 12 times
- scored 40 points or more 122 times (which, in a testament to Bryant’s scoring prowess, still seems low)
- had 176 career double-doubles and 21 triple-doubles
- won two gold medals with Team USA
- was the first player in NBA history to have both of his jersey numbers retired by the same team (No. 8 and No. 24)
As if that wasn’t enough, Bryant also leads the Lakers franchise record books in games played (1,346), minutes played (48,637), field goals and field goal attempts (11,719 and 26,200, respectively), 2-point field goal attempts, 3-point field goals, 3-point field goal attempts, field goals missed, free throws, free-throw attempts, steals, turnovers, personal fouls, usage percentage, win shares and value over replacement player.
So yeah, Bryant’s finger prints are all over this team’s history. Now they’re in the Hall of Fame as well. Below, we’ll be updating with all of our coverage of his induction, and celebrating all of the incredible things he achieved.