Kobe Bryant among 9 others to be inducted into Basketball Hall of Fame
LOS ANGELES / CNN — Kobe Bryant was officially inducted in to the Basketball Hall of Fame on Saturday night.
“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,” Bryant said of her late husband. “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 fellow Hall of Fame inductees 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 among those inducted Saturday.
Coaches Kim Mulkey, Barbara Stevens, Eddie Sutton and Rudy Tomjanovich were also awarded their spot in the Hall of Fame. Swiss basketball executive Patrick Baumann was posthumously inducted by the International Committee.
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