Kobe Bryant's Basketball Hall of Fame Ceremony Delayed Due to Coronavirus Concerns

NBA fans will have to wait a little longer to see Kobe Bryant get inducted into the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame. It was announced this week that the Hall of Fame ceremony for the Class of 2020 has been postponed and moved to spring 2021. Originally, the enshrinement weekend was set to take place on Aug. 28-30 in Springfield, Massachusetts with an alternative date of Oct. 10-12. However, due to the coronavirus pandemic killing more than 100,000 people in the country, Hall of Fame chairman of the board of governors Jerry Colangelo said they will get together on June 10 to finalize a new date. "It's going to have to be the first quarter of next year," Colangelo said to ESPN when talking about a new date for the ceremony. "We'll meet in a couple of weeks and look at the options of how and when and where."

Along with Bryant, the Class of 2020 includes Tim Duncan, Kevin Durant, former Houston Rockets coach Rudy Tomjanovich, 10-time WNBA All-Star and four-time Olympic gold medalist Tamika Catchings, Baylor women's basketball coach Kim Mulkey, Bentley College women's basketball coach Barbara Stevens, former FIBA and IOC executive Patrick Baumann and former college coach Eddie Sutton who recently died. Bryant, who died in a helicopter crash on Jan. 26, will headline the ceremony.

The Basketball Hall of Fame is currently closed due to pandemic. It closed its doors in February to complete a $23 million renovation project and was set to reopen on March 25. The board of governors considered moving the ceremony to the MassMutual Center, which holds nearly four times as many people as the Symphony Hall in Springfield.

Bryant was officially elected to the Hall of Fame Class of 2020 in April. He retired from the NBA in 2016 after a 20-year career with the Los Angeles Lakers. The NBA legend was selected by the Charlotte Hornets No. 13 overall in the 1996 NBA Draft but was sent to the Lakers as the Hornets agreed to trade their pick to Los Angeles before the draft. He spent his entire career with the Lakers and led the team to five NBA titles. Bryant was named NBA Finals MVP twice and was the winner of the NBA MVP award in 2008.