NBA great Michael Jordan will present Kobe Bryant for basketball Hall of Fame induction

When Los Angeles Lakers great Kobe Bryant is posthumously enshrined in the basketball Hall of Fame next month he’ll be welcomed in by arguably the sport’s greatest player — Michael Jordan.

Bryant’s family selected Jordan to present him at the May 15 ceremony at the Mohegan Sun Arena in Connecticut, according to a statement from the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame.

The five-time NBA champion and the fourth all-time leading scorer in NBA history was elected into the Hall last April in his first year of eligibility — just months after Bryant, his 13-year-old daughter, Gianna, and seven others were killed in a January 26 helicopter crash in Southern California.

Jordan described Bryant as a little brother in an emotional speech at his memorial service at the Staples Center, where Bryant made so many highlights during his 20-year career.

“When Kobe Bryant died, a piece of me died, and as I look at this arena and across the globe, a piece of you died,” he said last February. “I promise you, from this day forward, I will live with the memories of knowing that I had a little brother that I tried to help in every way I could. Please rest in peace, little brother.”

The enshrinement ceremony for Bryant and the Hall of Fame Class of 2020, which includes players Tim Duncan, Kevin Garnett and 10-time WNBA All-Star Tamika Catchings, was delayed because of the Covid-19 pandemic.

Jordan also will present Baylor coach Kim Mulkey, who led her team to three NCAA national championships and is the only person to ever win championships as a player, assistant coach and a head coach.

The ceremony will also honor coaches Rudy Tomjanovich, Barbara Stevens and Eddie Sutton, who died in May, and Swiss basketball executive Patrick Baumann, who died in 2018.