Los Angeles Lakers icon Kobe Bryant was inducted posthumously into the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame on Saturday part of a star-studded group that also included 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 along with seven others in southern California.
Bryant’s wife, Vanessa Bryant, took the podium Saturday 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 big man Garnett, two-time National Basketball Association (NBA) champion coach Rudy Tomjanovich and Women’s National Basketball Association (WNBA) legend Tamika Catchings were among those also inducted on Saturday night.
“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.”