The NBA, along with every other sport, event and more, may be on hold due to the coronavirus pandemic, but legendary names like Kobe Bryant, Tim Duncan and Kevin Garnett will still be recognized for their accomplishments. The three players, who all retired in 2016, are reported to have earned enshrinement on the first ballot and inducted into the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame according to CBS Sports. An official announcement is expected on Saturday at 12 p.m. ET.
All three NBA stars have a combined win of 11 NBA championships and four MVP awards. Following their successful careers, all went on to do great things off the court. Duncan is currently an assistant coach for the San Antonio Spurs, the only team he ever played for, while Garnett went the media route after hanging his jersey. Bryant was tragically killed in a helicopter crash in early 2020 but will be inducted posthumously.
Bryant spent his entire 20-year career with the Los Angeles Lakers. He won five championships and the 2008 MVP award. Sadly, the legend died in a helicopter crash alongside one of his daughters Gianna Bryant and seven others. The other victims included John Altobelli, Keri Altobellia, Alyssa Altobelli, Christina Mauser, Sarah Chester, Payton Chester, and pilot Ara Zobayan.
Bryant, along with the rest of the passengers were reportedly on their way to Bryant's Mamba Sports Academy for basketball practice when the helicopter crashed into a hillside in Calabasas, California. The chopper was flying in foggy conditions and was considered dangerous enough for the Los Angeles Police Department to ground all of their aircrafts.
Since his tragic death, his wife Vanessa Bryant says she refuses to accept that both Bryant and her daughter Gigi are gone. "I've been reluctant to put my feelings into words. My brain refuses to accept that both Kobe and Gigi are gone," she wrote in a message. "I can't process both at the same time. It's like I'm trying to process Kobe being gone but my body refuses to accept my Gigi will never come back to me. It feels wrong."
During the NBA player's public memorial service that drew an incredibly large audience both in person and in viewership through the televised event, Vanessa muscled up the courage to deliver two heartbreaking speeches, one for her daughter and the other for her husband of nearly two decades.