In April, the Los Angeles Lakers announced that Kobe Bryant would be posthumously inducted into the Naismith Basketball Hall of Fame in 2020. While Bryant is still going to be enshrined into the Basketball Hall of Fame, it will no longer be in 2020.
According to a report by Jackie MacMullan of ESPN on Wednesday, the Basketball Hall of Fame ceremonies for the Class of 2020 have been postponed until the spring of 2021. The enshrinement ceremony was originally scheduled for the weekend of August 28 at Symphony Hall in Springfield.
Here’s what Jerry Colangelo, the chairman of the board of the governors for the Hall, had to say to MacMullan:
Colangelo said the original dates of enshrinement weekend, Aug. 28-30, and the proposed alternate dates of Oct. 10-12 are “just not feasible” in light of the coronavirus pandemic that has killed over 100,000 in the U.S. and has rendered large gatherings taboo. The board of governors will convene on June 10, he said, to explore spring dates.
“We’re definitely canceling,” Colangelo said. “It’s going to have to be the first quarter of next year. We’ll meet in a couple of weeks and look at the options of how and when and where.”
When the day comes, we won’t be able to hear Bryant’s Hall of Fame speech, but we might hear a speech from one or more of his former coaches or teammates. It’s also possible that we’ll hear stories about Bryant from the other members of the 2020 Hall of Fame class, such as Tim Duncan, Kevin Garnett and Tamika Catchings.
Catchings, a 10-time WNBA All-Star and four-time Olympic gold medalist, met Bryant when they were both children living in Italy because of their fathers, both of whom were professional basketball players. Meanwhile, Garnett and Duncan competed against Bryant for the majority of his career.
Hopefully, with the amount of time that will have passed by then, we’ll be able to celebrate Bryant’s career and what he meant to the game of basketball rather than mourn his death. That’s not to say it won’t be sad — it will, but maybe we’ll be able to turn those feelings of sadness into feelings of gratitude when the day comes.