Difficult as it is to believe, one year has come and gone since Los Angeles Lakers legend Kobe Bryant, his daughter Gianna Bryant, and seven others tragically passed away in a helicopter accident.
Several tributes came pouring in last month to remember the man that defined L.A. sports for two decades. One of those was from Lakers icon Magic Johnson, who has called Bryant the greatest Laker ever on several occasions.
At the time of his death, Bryant was just a few months away from being inducted into the Basketball Hall of Fame as a part of a legendary 2020 class. The ceremony was postponed due to the coronavirus pandemic, but is scheduled to take place this May.
While it is unclear how they will handle Bryant’s posthumous induction, we know the Black Mamba would want it to be as incredible as his speech would have been. Johnson is one of those who also believes that Bryant would have given a legendary speech, according to Brad Turner of The L.A. Times:
“I know he was going to give a speech that probably would have been the best all time, cause he’s competitive like that,” Johnson said, laughing. “He probably would have listened to what I said, what Michael [Jordan] said. He would have said, ‘OK, I’m about to give the greatest speech that there has ever been at the Hall of Fame.’”
Throughout Bryant’s incredible life, his only goal was to be the best at whatever he set his mind to. For 37 years, that focus was on basketball. In retirement it centered around being a husband, father and so many other things. It’s this mindset that allowed him to win an Oscar just one year after retiring from basketball.
There is no doubt that Bryant’s speech would have been one for the ages. Now, we’ll likely get some form of tribute featuring former NBA players and potentially the Bryant family.
Jerry West calls Bryant a legend above the rest
In an emotional ESPN documentary for the one-year anniversary of Bryant’s death, Jerry West was given a chance to share what made the five-time champion special. After being reminded of what Bryant said what his purpose in life was, West responded with the highest praise.
Not only did he applaud Bryant for achieving every one of his goals laid out, he also referred to him as a legend that stands above the rest.
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