Kobe Bryant among Basketball Hall of Fame finalists

Three weeks after Kobe Bryant, one of the most dominant players in NBA history, was killed with his daughter and seven others in a helicopter crash, the global sports icon was named a finalist to the Basketball Hall of Fame.

Bryant, fourth all time in NBA scoring, played for the Los Angeles Lakers during an illustrious 20-year career that was highlighted by five NBA championships, two NBA Finals MVPs and one league MVP.

The announcement came during the NBA All-Star weekend in Chicago, which culminates on Sunday with an exhibition game featuring the sport’s best players. The three-day event is likely to be muted as the National Basketball Association pays homage to the fallen star.

“I’ve never seen in my long life an athlete passing that had the impact that Kobe’s passing had on people, people on the street, people that didn’t even know him,” said Jerry Colangelo, chairman of the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame, after the announcement was made.

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