Michael Jordan will present Kobe Bryant as he is inducted into the Naismith Basketball Hall of Fame on May 15.
The Hall of Fame announced presenters for the 2020 inductees Thursday, which include David Robinson presenting Tim Duncan and Isiah Thomas presenting Kevin Garnett.
Jordan will also present Baylor women's basketball coach Kim Mulkey for her enshrinement.
Bryant, Duncan and Garnett lead one of the strongest classes of Hall of Famers ever. Jordan and Bryant have had an inescapable relationship and off-court kinship, given Kobe's modeling of his game after His Airness and many viewing Bryant as the rightful heir to Jordan's basketball throne.
Jordan spoke at the memorial service following Bryant's tragic death last year, calling the Lakers legend a "little brother."
“Kobe was my dear friend; he was like a little brother,” Jordan said in February 2020. "When Kobe died, a little piece of me died. ...This kid had passion like you would never know. As I got to know him, I wanted to be the best big brother that I could be.”
Bryant made an appearance in ESPN's The Last Dance documentary and credited Jordan with helping him early in his career.
“It was a rough couple years for me coming into the league, ‘cause at the time the league was so much older, it’s not as young as it is today. So nobody was really thinking much of me, I was a kid that shot a bunch of air balls, you know what I mean? And at that point, Michael provided a lot of guidance for me. Like I had a question about shooting this turnaround shot, so I asked him about it. He gave me a great, detailed answer but on top of that, he said, ‘If you ever need anything, give me a call.’ That’s like my big brother."
Duncan, like Bryant, is inescapably compared to his mentor in Robinson. The pair of Spurs big men won two championships together before Robinson handed the keys to the franchise to Duncan, who would add three more rings to his mantel before retiring.
Garnett and Thomas don't have the same obvious links, but they do share a passionate legacy of brilliance on the defensive end.
Patrick Baumann, Tamika Catchings, Barbara Stevens, Eddie Sutton and Rudy Tomjanovich are also set to join the Hall of Fame this year after their enshrinement was postponed in 2020 by the COVID-19 pandemic.