Kobe Bryant will be honoured later this year by being posthumously inducted into the Naismith Basketball Hall of Fame as part of its 2020 class.
The LA Lakers legend will be enshrined as a first-ballot Hall of Famer and will enter without a vote - meaning the committee will forgo its usual election process.
Black Mamba will be inducted alongside Tim Duncan and Kevin Garnett and the ceremony will be held in August in Springfield, Massachusetts.
"[It's] expected to be the most epic class ever with Kobe, Tim Duncan and Kevin Garnett. Kobe will be honoured the way he should be," a Hall of Fame rep told The Athletic, per USA Today.
Including Bryant in the class of 2020 is the perfect way to pay tribute to a man who achieved so much on the court.
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During a 20 year career - spent entirely with the Lakers - he won five NBA Championships and was named the league's Most Valuable Player in 2008.
Bryant was also an 18-time All-Star and broke numerous records before retiring in 2016. At that point, both his number eight and number 24 jerseys were retired by the Lakers.
Outside the NBA, Black Mamba won two Olympic gold medals representing the United States and his farewell letter to basketball, in the form of an animated short film, won an Oscar.
The icon was already a nominee for the Hall of Fame before his untimely death and the full class will be announced in April.
"The Hall of Fame joins the rest of the basketball world in mourning the untimely passing of Kobe Bryant, a nominee for the Class of 2020 and an icon of the game," a spokesperson told E! News.
"We offer our sincerest condolences to the Bryant Family and all of those affected by this tragedy.
"We look forward to announcing our Finalists at NBA All-Star Weekend and revealing the full Class of 2020 at the NCAA Men's Final Four in April."
Bryant's entry into the basketball Hall of Fame was inevitable, but no one expected it to come posthumously.
It's heartbreaking to know that we'll never be able to hear his speech, but it will be important to celebrate his incredible legacy and all his achievements at the ceremony in August.News Now - Sport News