Basketball Hall of Fame chairman Jerry Colangelo said Monday the institution will honor Kobe Bryant appropriately when the 2020 class is inducted in August.
"Expected to be arguably the most epic class ever with Kobe, Tim Duncan and Kevin Garnett," Colangelo told The Athletic's Shams Charania. "Kobe will be honored the way he should be."
Bryant was killed Sunday morning in a helicopter crash in California. Eight others died in the accident, including Bryant's 13-year-old daughter, Gianna.
In a separate interview with NBA TV on Monday, Colangelo added that Bryant was guaranteed to enter the Hall in his first year as a nominee.
"Ironically, I have a meeting in Dallas ... on Wednesday, and it's a committee to go through the candidates," Colangelo said. "And obviously, the result of whatever names come out of that, (Bryant) was going to be a first-ballot guy. There's no doubt in my mind. He's going to be honored. He's going into the Hall of Fame."
In December, Bryant was officially unveiled as a nominee for the Hall of Fame's Class of 2020. The Los Angeles Lakers legend retired in 2016 after a 20-year career that included five NBA championships, 18 All-Star Game nods, and the 2007-08 NBA MVP Award.
Along the way, Bryant played in 1,346 regular-season NBA games, averaging 25 points, 5.2 rebounds, and 4.7 assists. He maintained a similar level of play through 220 postseason contests.
The finalists for the 2020 class will be revealed during NBA All-Star Weekend in February. The inductees will then be announced during the NCAA Tournament's Final Four in April.