The Dallas Morning News

Jordan to present Bryant at Hall

Antetokoun­mpo back in Bucks lineup after missing six games

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LOS ANGELES — Michael Jordan surprised attendees at Kobe Bryant’s public memorial by eulogizing the Lakers legend, sharing the details of a friendship that hadn’t been very public.

Jordan will once again be a part of a big moment for Bryant and his family, this time as his presenter when Bryant is enshrined in the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame on May 15. Past inductees were selected by new Hall of Fame members, or their relatives, to accompany and introduce them at the ceremony.

Bryant was originally set to be inducted last year as part of the 2020 class, but the COVID-19 pandemic postponed the ceremony.

Bryant will enter the Hall of Fame as part of a class that includes Tim Duncan (who will be presented by David Robinson) and Kevin Garnett (who will be presented by Isiah Thomas). Former Lakers coach and Houston Rockets legend Rudy Tomjanovic­h will also be among the group enshrined.

Jordan’s own Hall of Fame acceptance speech has become a thing of legend, spawning the popular internet meme the “Crying Jordan.” As he eulogized Bryant, Jordan became emotional. He joked — his face wet with tears — that his eulogy could spawn another round of memes.

“Maybe it surprised people that Kobe and I were very close friends,” Jordan said at the Feb. 24, 2020, memorial. “But we were very close friends. Kobe was my dear friend. He was like a little brother.”

Bucks 120, Hawks 109: In Atlanta, Giannis Antetokoun­mpo scored 15 points in his return to the Milwaukee lineup and got plenty of help from his teammates as the Bucks cooled off the surging Hawks.

Antetokoun­mpo had missed six games with an ailing left knee before getting cleared to return in Atlanta, where he starred in the NBA All-star Game last month.

Warriors 119, Cavaliers 101: In Cleveland, Stephen Curry scored 33 points, topping 30 for a career-best ninth consecutiv­e game.

Curry missed his first eight attempts beyond the arc, finishing 4 of 13, in leading Golden State to its season-high fourth straight win.

Injuries at normal level: The NBA said that the rate of players needing to miss games because of injuries is down from last season, and within the normal range for what the league has seen over the last five seasons.

League data shows the player injury rate this season is down about 6%, even though several marquee players — including Lebron James, Anthony Davis, Kevin Durant, Joel Embiid, James Harden and most recently Jamal Murray — have dealt with injuries in recent weeks.

 ??  ?? MICHAEL JORDAN
MICHAEL JORDAN
 ??  ?? KOBE BRYANT
KOBE BRYANT

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