Kobe Bryant inducted posthumously into NBA Hall of Fame
Tim Duncan and Kevin Garnett also recognised during ceremony in Connecticut
Los Angeles Lakers icon Kobe Bryant was inducted posthumously into the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame, along with Tim Duncan and Kevin Garnett.
Bryant was inducted as part of the Class of 2020, almost 16 months after he and his 13-year-old daughter Gianna were killed in a helicopter crash among others in southern California.
Bryant's wife, Vanessa Bryant, took the podium to speak movingly about his love for basketball, his family, his teammates and his fans.
"You did it. You are in the Hall of Fame now. You are a true champion, not just an MVP. You are an all-time great," Vanessa said.
San Antonio Spurs star Duncan, Minnesota Timberwolves and Boston Celtics' Garnett, two-time NBA champion coach Rudy Tomjanovich and WNBA legend Tamika Catchings were among those also inducted into the NBA Hall of Fame.
The delayed enshrinement stretched over two days at the Mohegan Sun Resort and Casino in Uncasville, Connecticut, with Vanessa and Kobe's oldest daughter, Natalia, accepting Bryant's Hall of Fame jacket and ring on Friday night.
Bryant and the others were voted into the Hall of Fame as part of the 2020 class, but the formal induction ceremony was delayed because of the Covid-19 pandemic.
"There will never be anyone like Kobe," Vanessa said. "Kobe was one of a kind. He was special. He was humble – off the court – but bigger than life."
Vanessa was helped to the stage by NBA legend Michael Jordan, who acted as a presenter for Kobe and three-time NCAA champion coach Kim Mulkey.
"He and Gigi deserved to be here to witness this. Gigi would have been so proud of her dad getting into the Hall of Fame," Vanessa said.
Published: May 16, 2021 02:49 PM