Report: Kobe Bryant’s Hall of Fame Induction Ceremony Could Be Delayed Due to Pandemic

Brad Sullivan
3 Min Read

Los Angeles Lakers legend Kobe Bryant is supposed to be inducted into the Hall of Fame later this summer, but the ceremony may have to be delayed.

While the 2020 Hall of Fame induction ceremony is currently scheduled to take place on Aug. 29, a new report indicates that the ceremonies could be postponed due to the continuing coronavirus pandemic.

Gary Washburn of the Boston Globe spoke with the Hall of Fame’s CEO John Doleva, who indicated that a decision on any postponement will come in the near future.

One definite change in the ceremonies will be changing the Springfield, Mass. site from Symphony Hall (capacity 2,611) to the MassMutual Center (capacity 8,319), in order to honor social-distancing concerns.

If the event is postponed, some alternate dates would be over Columbus Day weekend in October or sometime in the spring of 2021.

Doleva made clear that any postponement into 2021 would not mean combining the classes of 2020 and 2021 together.

“I do want to make it very clear we will have a separate event for the class of 2020 because of the notoriety of that class and, frankly, every class deserves its own recognition,” Doleva said. “There is a potential next calendar year that we could have two enshrinements.”

Besides the actual inductions, the weekend of events is scheduled to include an awards ceremony and jacket presentation to inductees on Aug. 28. While the latter event had previously been scheduled in Springfield, the ceremony and presentations will now take place at Mohegan Sun casino in Uncasville, Conn.

The casino had been the site of previous post-induction events, but Doleva is taking under consideration to hold a community day on Aug. 30, which could involve basketball clinics by Hall of Famers who would also be in attendance.

Besides dealing with the unprecedented chaos caused by the virus, Doleva indicated that the Hall is prepared to address the fact that no previous first-ballot inductee has died before his induction.

“It’s unusual, but it’s not impossible, we’re still dealing with it,” Doleva said. “When you have a class of nine and seven of them are still with us, they really have a bond. We want to make sure we keep that together. The nature of the 2020 class speaks to the need to have a separate enshrinement. It’s untimely and it’s difficult but we’re dealing with it. We have a plan.”

Whenever the ceremony does take place, it is certain to be a bittersweet event, especially for Lakers fans. Bryant will be recognized for his achievements, but the continuing pain from his loss will once again be felt quite sharply.

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Brad is a freelance writer for, who can clearly recall watching Lakers games in 1972 as they captured the first of their 11 Los Angeles-based titles. The franchise's evolution into a beloved and iconic franchise among its fan base since that memorable year allows for a wider perspective to be a part of his writing about the team's current fortunes.