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Los Angeles Lakers Kobe Bryant was Posthumously Inducted into the Hall of Fame

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Tom Handy
Tom Handy
 29 days ago
Kobe BryantPhoto by Janine Robinson on Unsplash

On Saturday, Los Angeles Lakers Kobe Bryant was inducted into the NBA Hall of Fame and his wife, Vanessa Bryant gave the speech. Kobe played 20 years with Los Angeles from 1996 to 2016.

I can see him now, arms folded with a huge grin saying, ‘Isn’t this some s — -,” Bryant said.
I wish my husband was here to accept this incredible award,” Bryant’s wife, Vanessa Bryant, said at the ceremony, as she was joined onstage by basketball legend Michael Jordan. “He and Gigi deserved to be here to witness this. Gigi would be so proud to watch her daddy get enshrined into the Basketball Hall of Fame.”
I used to always avoid praising my husband in public because I felt like he got enough praise from his fans around the world and someone had to bring him back to reality,” Vanessa Bryant said.

Bryant, who won five NBA championships with the Los Angeles Lakers, and his daughter Gianna “Gigi” Bryant, who was 13, died in a helicopter crash in January 26, 2020.

Kobe was on a different level,” Bryant said. “He never took shortcuts when it came to basketball. He gave this game his all.”

That injury was big but his comeback from that injury was bigger,” Bryant recalled.

If he could help it, he’d play every minute of every game. He loved you all so much,” Bryant said.

He did the work. He broke those records. He inspired people to be great. I want to thank him for somehow finding ways to dedicate time to not only being an incredible athlete, a visionary entrepreneur, and storyteller but for also being an amazing family man,” she said.
There will never be anyone like Kobe,” Vanessa Bryant said. “Kobe was one of a kind. He was special, he was humble — off the court — but bigger than life.”

Here is the full speech from Vanessa.

I don’t have a speech prepared by my husband because he winged every single speech,” she said. “He was intelligent, eloquent and gifted at many things, including public speaking. However, I do know that he would thank everyone that helped him get here, including the people that doubted him and the people that worked against him and told him that he couldn’t attain his goals.
Dear Kobe thank you for being the best husband and father you could possibly be,” Bryant said. “Thank you for our family … thank you for loving me enough to last lifetimes and in every lifetime I chose you.”
You once told me, if you’re going to bet on someone, bet on yourself. I’m glad you bet on yourself, you overachiever. You did it,” she said. “You’re in the hall of fame now … you’re an all-time great.”
Kobe BryantScreenshot from Los Angeles Times
Thank you for never missing a birthday, a dance recital, a school awards show, show-and-tell or any games our daughters played in if your schedule permitted. Thank you for putting your love for our family first. Thank you for bringing so much joy to our lives and joy to people around the world. Thank you for inspiring us to be better than we were the day before. Thank you for teaching me, and all of us, to put someone else’s joy before our own.
Thank you for being so selfless and loving with a heart of gold. Thank you for never taking yourself too seriously. Thank you for your sense of humor. Thank you for your wit. Thank you for never telling me no and always letting me have my way, most of the time. Thank you for being patient and easygoing. Thank you for letting me burst your bubble every chance I got. Thank you for graciously taking all my harsh comebacks. Thank you for dishing them back.”

Among the nine inducted on Saturday were former Minnesota Timberwolves and Boston Celtics forward Kevin Garnett and San Antonio Spurs forward Tim Duncan.

You’re at your best, when you face the best,” Duncan said. “I want to say thank you to the late, great Kobe Bryant, to KG. You guys demanded the best out of me, and it brought the best out of me. Thank you, guys.”
LeBron James said, “There has not been a better Big Three to go in at the same time.”

Other people inducted to the Hall of Fame were WNBA’s Indiana Fever legend Tamika Catchings, coaches Kim Mulkey, Barbara Stevens, Eddie Sutton, and Rudy Tomjanovich. Swiss basketball executive Patrick Baumann was posthumously inducted by the International Committee.