Kobe Bryant won’t be enshrined into the Naismith Basketball Hall of Fame this year … the induction ceremony is being pushed to 2021 because of the novel coronavirus.
The enshrinement ceremonies for the star-studded Hall of Fame class of 2020, which includes Tim Duncan and Kevin Garnett alongside the late KB, are being delayed to next spring … according to HOF honcho Jerry Colangelo.
Jerry told ESPN the enshrinement ceremonies — originally scheduled for Aug. 28 to 30 with proposed alternate dates of Oct. 10 to 12 — are “just not feasible” in the pandemic that’s killed more than 100,000 Americans, and made large gatherings basically impossible.
Colangelo says the Hall of Fame’s board of governors will meet June 10 to figure out dates for spring of 2021 for the enshrinement.
The ceremony was supposed to go down Aug. 29 at Symphony Hall in Springfield, MA … and Colangelo says the Hall of Fame thought about moving the ceremony to a larger venue better suited for social distancing, but the powers that be ultimately decided to wait until next year.
This means the ceremonies for the classes of 2020 and 2021 will be held in the same calendar year, but Colangelo says the Hall won’t combine them on one weekend because the Class of 2020 “deserves its own celebration.”
It will be interesting to see if the extra time will be enough for Shaquille O’Neal to muster the strength to watch Kobe enter the Hall. He previously said he was still emotional over Kobe’s death and wouldn’t watch because it would make him too sad.