Kobe Bryant has been posthumously inducted into the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame. The Lakers legend won five championships and vaulted himself into the discussion as one of the NBA’s all-time greats.
It has been over a year since the demise of Kobe and the NBA world still struggles to get in terms with it. The five-time NBA champion died, aged 41, in a helicopter crash in January 2020. Like any transcendent star dying young, Bryant will forever be beautiful and perfect in memory.
Vanessa Bryant, wife of late Kobe, delivered a touching speech on Saturday night. While Vanessa accepted the induction on his behalf, her purple dress matching the traditional Lakers color capped the emotional night.
Accompanied by Michael Jordan, Vanessa talked about her husband and all the things he did during his successful NBA career.
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One of the best parts of the speech was Vanessa talking about Kobe’s love for his fans.
“One of the reasons why my husband played through injuries and pain was because he remembered being a little kid, sitting in the nosebleeds with his dad and watching his favorite player play.” Vanessa said. “I remember asking him why he couldn’t just sit a game out because he was hurting. He said, ‘What about the fans that saved up to watch me play just once?’ He never forgot about his fans. If he could help it, he would play every minute of every game. He loved you all so much.”
The Legacy of Kobe Bryant
The number of NBA players who battled with Bryant in his prime dwindles every year, but Bryant’s influence has grown. While there may be arguments about who he is the greatest player of all time, there is no doubt that Kobe was one of the most influential players.
But as great as he was, the Black Mamba had his fair share of imperfections. He fell out with teammates and coaches and he once demanded to be traded. But all these shortcomings shaped him to be an all-time great.
The five-time-champion was one of the most complete players to play the game. With five championships to his name, he was the MVP in 2008, Finals MVP twice and earned 18 All-Star selections, making him one of the most decorated players in the history of the sport.
A year after his tragic passing, the NBA world can finally say Kobe is a Hall of Famer. And the admiration and all he stood for only grows.
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