Producers from the award show revealed on Wednesday that Bryant, who died in a helicopter accident last month at the age of 41 along with his 13-year-old daughter Gianna Bryant and seven other passengers, would “be embraced” during the In Memoriam portion of the program.
"I think the In Memoriam segment has always been an important part of the show and this year is no different in that we're honoring all of our community that we've lost," said show producer Stephanie Allain (via Entertainment Tonight). "I think what's really appropriate is that Kobe was part of the film community, and as such, he will be embraced within the In Memoriam segment."
Bryant’s death occurred on Jan. 26, mere hours before the 2020 Grammys kicked off at the Staples Center, where Bryant played his entire 20-year NBA career.
The Grammys quickly pulled together its own tribute to the fallen Los Angeles Lakers great. Meanwhile, the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences said in a statement to ET at the time that viewers of the 2020 Oscars could expect a similar outcome, saying, "We can confirm that Kobe Bryant will be acknowledged in the telecast.”
The iconic basketball star and visionary won best animated short at the 90th Academy Awards for “Dear Basketball,” which is based on a poem of the same name he wrote following his retirement from the Los Angeles Lakers at the end of the 2015-16 season.
At the time, Bryant tweeted his excitement and disbelief over his nomination writing: “This is beyond the realm of imagination. Thanks to the genius of @GlenKeanePrd & John Williams for taking my poem to this level. It’s an honor to be on this team.”