The Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame on Thursday unveiled the moderators for the 2020 entrants.
Most notably, Michael Jordan, who was inducted into the Naismith Hall of Fame in 2009, will introduce the late Kobe Bryant, who came closest to Jordan’s style and success on the court and viewed Jordan as a little brother. Jordan also spoke at Bryant’s memorial service in February 2020, highlighting the extent of their relationship.
MORE: ‘The Last Dance’ footage shows young Kobe Bryant quickly gaining respect for Michael Jordan
Bryant often peppered Jordan with questions about his game and preparation, much to the chagrin of Jordan. But Bryant’s pursuit of success – coupled with his natural ability – showed Jordan, who took it upon himself to help Bryant where he could. Their relationship began in the All-Star Game in 1998, where a 19-year-old Bryant forced Jordan to push himself. It eventually got to a point where Jordan saw Kobe as the only player who could beat him one on one.
“I don’t think I would lose,” said Jordan. “Except for Kobe Bryant for stealing all my movements.”
Jordan will also introduce Kim Mulkey, Baylor women’s basketball team coach for 2020. This makes him the only one to introduce two candidates for the 2020 Hall of Fame class.
The 2020 induction ceremony will take place on May 15 after being postponed due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Below is a full breakdown of the 2020 attendees and their respective moderators:
- 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)