Mamba Forever: Kobe Bryant Inducted into the Basketball Hall of Fame

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Photo Courtesy via Flickr

Kobe Bryant becomes the 27th Laker ever to get into the Basketball Hall of Fame. Besides basketball, Kobe also left an impact to many people, instilling the idea of “Mamba Mentality” that many people refer to today.

The late Kobe Bryant was officially inducted into the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame Saturday night. The late Lakers legend was a part of a 2020 class that also included Kevin Garnett and Tim Duncan.

Who Helped Present Kobe Bryant into the Hall of Fame?

To accept his official induction into the Hall of Fame, Bryant’s wife, Vanessa Bryant, was there to accept the honor. Vanessa Bryant was joined alongside Michael Jordan, whom she asked to help present Kobe into the Basketball Hall of Fame.   

Kobe was only months away from getting official word on his reaching of the NBA Hall of Fame. Unfortunately, months prior to the 2020 Hall of Fame class announcement, Bryant and his daughter, Gianna, along with seven others fatally passed away in a helicopter crash in the Calabasas area on January 26, 2020.

“I wish my husband was here to accept this incredible award,” Vanessa Bryant said. “He and Gigi deserved to be here and witness this. Gigi would be so proud to watch her daddy get enshrined into the Basketball Hall of Fame.”

Vanessa Bryant Recounts Kobe’s Achievements and Legacy

Bryant would also recount the great of a player Kobe was and all of his great accomplishments.

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

Kobe throughout his career had many spectacular accomplishments. Kobe was an 18-time all-star, 15 time All-NBA team member, 12 time member of the All-Defensive team, and was a league MVP back in 2008. On top of that, Bryant was also a known winner. He won five NBA Championships, winning NBA Finals MVP in two of them. Bryant also ranks fourth all-time in scoring, sixth all-time in field goals made, on top of many other categories he ranks very high in. All of this during his 20 year career, one in which he only played for one team: The Los Angeles Lakers. 

Vanessa Bryant would later describe Kobe’s wit and determination throughout his career. She would explain how Bryant played through many injuries during his career and would persevere through them.

“Kobe didn’t want to disappoint his fans…. He [Kobe] said, ‘What about the fans that saved up to watch me play just once?’ He never forgot about his fans.”

Vanessa Bryant Concludes Her Speech Thanking Kobe

Kobe Bryant on top of Basketball accomplishments also had many more achievements. He also won an Oscar after his career was over, was a best-selling author, businessman, and was also what he cherished most: being a girl dad. (Photo Courtesy of Terence Faircloth via Flickr)

Bryant would later thank Kobe for everything he did, both for the fans and for her and their family. 

“Thank you for working so tirelessly to provide for us and for giving us the most amazing life together.” 

She also added, “Thank you for bringing so much joy into our lives and joy of the people around the world. Thank you for inspiring us to be better than we were the day before.” 

Bryant ended her speech by saying, “You’re in the hall of fame now, you’re a true champ, you’re not just an MVP, you’re an all-time great. I’m so proud of you. I love you forever and always, Kobe Bean Bryant.”  

Prior to the Hall of Fame induction ceremony on Saturday, the day before saw the Bryant family also receive Kobe Bryant’s Hall of Fame ring and jacket at the NBA’s awards gala and tip-off event for Hall of Fame weekend. Vanessa helped her eldest daughter, Natalia Bryant, put on the jacket as the crowd chanted Kobe’s name.

As was the case Friday night, at the end of Vanessa Bryant’s speech on Saturday, the crowd chanted Kobe’s name, appreciating the legend of now official Hall of Famer, Kobe Bean Bryant.