After Michael Jordan’s retirement, Kobe Bryant carried the NBA on his shoulders to ensure that the foundation His Airness built didn’t crumble. Now, it’s MJ’s turn to return the favor by helping cement Bryant’s basketball legacy.
On Thursday, the Naismith Basketball Hall of Fame announced that Michael Jordan will present Kobe Bryant’s enshrinement during next month’s induction ceremony.
It’s a fitting choice, since Bryant and Jordan’s legacies will always be intertwined. Not only did the great Zen Master, Coach Phil Jackson, lead both players to all of their championships, but Bryant admittedly spent most of his early career trying to mimic (and out-do)Jordan.
“Damn near 100 percent of the technique,” Bryant said to Bleacher Report when asked if some of his patented moves were inspired by Jordan. “Damn near 100 percent.”
Bryant and Jordan also had a great relationship off the court, which was evident when Jordan gave an emotional speech at Bryant’s L.A. memorial last year.
“He wanted to be the best basketball player he could be,” Jordan said during the speech. “And as I got to know him, I wanted to be the best big brother that I could be.”
Other presenters include David Robinson who’ll be presenting Tim Duncan and Isiah Thomas who’ll be presenting Kevin Garnett. Patrick Baumann, Tamika Catchings, Barbara Stevens, Eddie Sutton and Rudy Tomjanovich will also join the Hall of Fame this year.
The induction ceremony takes place on May 15.