One of the better traditions for the Naismith Basketball Hall of Fame is that someone who is already in the hall has to present new inductees. And with that in mind, there is not a better choice in the world to posthumously induct Kobe Bryant than the man the late Lakers legend looked up to from a basketball perspective more than anyone: Michael Jordan.
Fortunately, according to the latest announcement from the hall, that is exactly what is going to happen:
This is a perfect choice for a multitude of reasons, not the least of which is how Bryant transparently patterned his game after Jordan. The two were also close personally, a bond revealed when Jordan gave an unforgettable speech detailing how Bryant was like his “little brother” at the latter’s celebration of life last year.
“What Kobe Bryant was to me was the inspiration that someone truly cared about the way either I played the game, or the way that he wanted to play the game,” Jordan said then. “He wanted to be the best basketball player that he could be, and as I got to know him, I wanted to be the best big brother that I could be. To do that, you had to put up with the aggravation, the late night calls or the dumb questions.
“Now, he’s got me ... I’ll have to look at another crying meme,” Jordan continued as tears flowed down his face. “I told my wife I wasn’t going to do this because I didn’t want to see that for the next 3-4 years. That is what Kobe Bryant does to me.”
He’s not alone, because it seems safe to guess that Jordan won’t be the only one crying when he welcomes Bryant into the fold as a fellow hall of famer. The hall will officially induct him and the rest of his class next month.