Lower Merion and NBA legend Kobe Bryant, who died at 41 in a helicopter accident in January, has been elected into the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame, writes Noah Levick for NBC Sports Philadelphia.
Bryant was a five-time NBA champion and 18-time All-Star. He spent most of his childhood in Italy, where his father, Joe “Jellybean” Bryant, played basketball for several local teams before returning to the United States.
Bryant began his basketball career at Lower Merion High School, where he won the PIAA Class 4A state championship in 1996 and entered the NBA draft.
During his 20 seasons with the Los Angeles Lakers, he was named to the All-Defensive First Team on nine occasions and won two Finals MVPs. He was also the league top scorer twice.
Bryant won one of his five NBA titles against the Philadelphia Sixers in 2001. He averaged 24.6 points, 7.8 rebounds, and 5.8 assists in his team’s five-game series victory.
To honor his memory, commissioner Adam Silver has now permanently named the All-Star Game MVP award after Bryant, who tied with Bob Pettit for most ever with four wins.
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