The Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame on Thursday revealed the presenters for the 2020 enshrinees.
Most notably, Michael Jordan — a 2009 inductee into the Naismith Hall of Fame — will present the late Kobe Bryant, who was the closest to emulating Jordan’s style and success on the court and whom Jordan considered to be a little brother. Jordan also spoke at Bryant’s memorial service in February 2020, showing the extent of their relationship.
Bryant often peppered Jordan with questions about his game and preparation, much to the latter’s chagrin. But Bryant’s drive to succeed — coupled with his natural ability — revealed itself to Jordan, who took it on himself to help Bryant where he could. Their relationship began in the 1998 All-Star Game, where a 19-year-old Bryant forced Jordan to push himself. It eventually got to the point where Jordan considered Kobe the only player capable of beating him one-one-one.
“I don’t think I would lose,” Jordan said. “Other than to Kobe Bryant, because he steals all of my moves.”
Jordan will also present fellow 2020 inductee Kim Mulkey, coach of the Baylor women’s basketball team — making him the only person to present two inductees into the 2020 Hall of Fame class.
The 2020 induction ceremony will take place on May 15 after it was rescheduled because of the COVID-19 pandemic. Below is a complete rundown of the 2020 enshrinees and their respective presenters:
- Patrick Baumann, presented by Russ Granik (’13), Vlade Divac (’19)
- Kobe Bryant, presented by Michael Jordan (’09)
- Tamika Catchings, presented by Alonzo Mourning (’14), Dawn Staley (’13)
- Tim Duncan, presented by David Robinson (’09)
- Kevin Garnett, presented by Isiah Thomas (’00)
- Kim Mulkey, presented by Michael Jordan (’09)
- Barbara Stevens, presented by Geno Auriemma (’06), Muffet McGraw (’17)
- Eddie Sutton, presented by John Calipari (’15), Bill Self (’17), Sidney Moncrief (’19
- Rudy Tomjanovich, presented by Calvin Murphy (’93), Hakeem Olajuwon (’08)