In May, Jerry Colangelo, the chairman of the board of governors for the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame, told ESPN that the enshrinement ceremonies for the Class of 2020 — headlined by the late Los Angeles Lakers legend Kobe Bryant — was going to be postponed to spring 2021 due to the threat of the coronavirus pandemic in the United States.
While there’s still no clarity on when large gatherings will be safe again, the Hall has officially picked a new date, and a new venue for its highly-anticipated weekend.
On Friday, the Hall announced that the enshrinement ceremony festivities for the Class of 2020 will take place from May 13 to May 15 at the Mohegan Sun in in Connecticut, as opposed to the actual Basketball Hall of Fame museum, which is located in Springfield, Massachusetts. In changing the location, the Hall is hoping to create a “near bubble” experience for the guests of honor, their traveling parties and the media.
Bryant won’t be there to give his Hall of Fame speech, or put on his orange jacket with his peers Tim Duncan, Kevin Garnett and Tamika Catchings, but there will almost surely be tributes in his honor both on the night of the induction and throughout the weekend. While it will serve as yet another cruel reminder that Kobe and Gianna are no longer with us, it will also give basketball fans an opportunity to celebrate Bryant’s illustrious 20-year career, which is highlighted by the five championships he won with the Lakers, his two finals MVPs, his MVP award and his two Olympic gold medals.
We’ll have more information on the weekend’s festivities as the date gets closer.