Like so much of life, the Naismith Basketball Hall of Fame has been shut down as it and the nation dealt with the coronavirus.
Sunday it opens its doors again — one day after a legendary Hall of Fame induction ceremony where Kobe Bryant, Tim Duncan, and Kevin Garnett, among others, will be honored — and when it does, it will have a new exhibit focused on Kobe’s life.
“We do have a new Kobe Bryant exhibit,” John Doleva, the COO of the Hall of Fame, said on Friday. “I know Vanessa [Bryant, Kobe’s widow] was up there today and had a private tour of that, and I believe was very pleased with what she saw. She was very involved in the design of it, and it is a striking, striking display.”
Before the coronavirus shutdown there were plans for an exhibit and a first-draft design of it, but the HOF took the added time to work with Vanessa and Panini (the trading card company) to create something more immersive, Doleva said.
Now, more than just focusing on his accomplishments on the court, the exhibit also talks “about what Kobe was after he left the Lakers, after he left basketball,” Doleva said. It makes you think about what could have been next, he added.
“I think it’s going to be the most talked about and enjoyed exhibit at the Hall of Fame,” Doleva said.
There is a lot more in the revamped Hall of Fame, including a new, interactive “TNT Inside the NBA” exhibit where people can sit at the studio desk and more, Doleva said.
The HOF is located in Springfield, Mass., the city where Dr. Naismith invented the game.