Kobe Bryant among Class of 2020 officially inducted into Basketball Hall of Fame


Kobe Bryant was officially inducted into the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame as part of the Class of 2020 on Saturday night.

Kobe Bryant, Kobe Bryant are posing for a picture: The late Kobe Bryant is honored, as are others who have died, as Ne-Yo sings "Incredible" during the 2020 Basketball Hall of Fame enshrinement ceremony Saturday© Kathy Willens/AP The late Kobe Bryant is honored, as are others who have died, as Ne-Yo sings “Incredible” during the 2020 Basketball Hall of Fame enshrinement ceremony Saturday“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.”

The NBA legend was posthumously elected into the Hall last April in his first year of eligibility — just months after Bryant, his 13-year-old daughter, Gianna, and seven other people were killed in a helicopter crash.

“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.”


She concluded: “Congratulations baby. All of your hard work and sacrifices paid off.

“You did it. You’re in the Hall of Fame now. You’re a true champ. You’re not just an MVP, you are an all-time great. I’m so proud of you. I love you forever and always.”

Among the nine inducted on Saturday were former Minnesota Timberwolves and Boston Celtics forward Kevin Garnett and San Antonio Spurs forward Tim Duncan, who reminisced on playing against his Hall of Fame classmates Garnett and Bryant.

“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.”

WNBA’s Indiana Fever legend Tamika Catchings was also inducted Saturday.

“Basketball chose me,” Catchings said. “An awkward, lanky, introverted tomboy, born with a hearing disability, a speech impediment and a will to overcome obstacles, dream big and to change the world.”

“We all have dreams and goals,” Catchings added. “And whether you’re young or old, born with a disability or have been told of the things you can’t accomplish, tonight I share the same words that my parents shared with me, with a twist. If anyone can do it, you can. Shoot for the stars, work hard and catch your dream.”

Among the others inducted were coaches Kim Mulkey, Barbara Stevens, Eddie Sutton and Rudy Tomjanovich. Swiss basketball executive Patrick Baumann was posthumously inducted by the International Committee.

Kobe Bryant is being remembered by several famous fans as he was inducted into the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame.

 Kobe BryantOn Saturday, ahead of the famed ceremony — which was originally slated to take place in August 2020, but was delayed by the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic — LeBron James, Magic Johnson and more honored the late basketball star, who died in a tragic helicopter crash alongside his daughter Gianna and seven others in January 2020.

© Allen Berezovsky/Getty Images Kobe BryantSharing a promo for the ceremony, the Lakers wrote, “#MambaForever x #20HoopClass” alongside the post.

And while speaking with Spectrum SportsNet during the team’s game against the Indiana Pacers, James, 36, said: “It’s a celebration for another Laker great, and I’m just happy to be a part of his legacy.”


Also on Saturday, Johnson, 61, shared a message to Bryant’s loved ones on Twitter, writing, “Congratulations to my dear friend, the late great, Kobe Bryant, his wife Vanessa, his daughters Natalia, Gigi, Bianka and Capri, his parents Joe and Pam, and the entire Bryant family on Kobe’s much deserved induction into the NBA Hall of Fame!”


Bryant will be honored by Michael Jordan as a member of the 2020 class being inducted into the Hall of Fame.

The late NBA icon’s standalone exhibit at the Hall of Fame in Massachusetts, which Vanessa Bryant helped design, was unveiled this weekend. The exhibit is called “Kobe: A Basketball Life,” and is a rare addition to the annual induction ceremony, the Los Angeles Times reported.

Earlier this year, Vanessa opened up to PEOPLE about trying to focus on “finding the light in darkness” after losing her husband and daughter. She said that she gleans inspiration from Kobe and Gigi.

“I guess the best way to describe it is that Kobe and Gigi motivate me to keep going,” she said, “They inspire me to try harder and be better every day. Their love is unconditional and they motivate me in so many different ways.”

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