NBA

Kobe Bryant will be inducted into Basketball Hall of Fame this year, report says

The Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame is bypassing the normal election process and making the late Kobe Bryant the first inductee of the 2020 class, The Athletic reported Monday.

Lakers legend, 13-year-old daughter among 9 killed Sunday in helicopter crash

The Basketball Hall of Fame will make the late Kobe Bryant the first inductee of the 2020 class, The Athletic reported Monday. Bryant, his daughter Gianna and seven others died Sunday in a helicopter crash in California. (Stephen Dunn/Getty Images/File)

The Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame is bypassing the normal election process and making the late Kobe Bryant the first inductee of the 2020 class, The Athletic reported Monday.

"Expected to be arguably the most epic class ever with Kobe, Tim Duncan and Kevin Garnett," Hall of Fame chairman Jerry Colangelo said, per the report. "Kobe will be honoured the way he should be."

Bryant, 41, died Sunday along with his 13-year-old daughter, Gianna, and seven others in a helicopter crash near Calabasas, Calif.

As an 18-time all-star, a five-time NBA champion and the fourth-leading scorer in league history, Bryant was virtually assured of being elected on the first ballot in his first year of eligibility this year anyway.

The other 2020 finalists will be announced Feb. 14 during all-star weekend.  The rest of the class will be announced in April at the Final Four, and Bryant's posthumous induction will take place in Springfield, Mass., on Aug. 29.

WATCH | Raptors, Spurs honour Kobe Bryant with on-court tribute:

Both teams allow the 24 second shot clock to expire on their first possessions to pay respect to number 24, Kobe Bryant. 1:27

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