After being delayed due to the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic, the Naismith Memorial Basketball of Fame is set to induct the Classes of 2020 and 2021 this weekend.
The 2020 Class is a star-studded one that is headlined by Los Angeles Lakers legend Kobe Bryant as well as Tim Duncan and Kevin Garnett. Bryant was a shoo-in as a first-ballot Hall of Famer due to his historic career with the storied franchise, and it will be a bittersweet moment for Lakers fans given his tragic passing in January of 2020.
Bryant will be presented by Michael Jordan and his wife Vanessa will also speak during the ceremony. However, during the Tip-Off Celebration and Awards Gala, Natalia Bryant honored her late father by donning his Hall of Fame Jacket, via Ballislife:
— Ballislife.com (@Ballislife) May 15, 2021
It was an emotional moment to see Natalia wear Bryant’s jacket and pose with his ring while Vanessa stood behind her. Vanessa has gone above and beyond to ensure that her husband is honored and remembered for his accolades both on and off the court and it was fitting to see their eldest daughter sport his jacket.
Bryant was one of the fiercest and most maniacal competitors the NBA has ever seen, leaving everything out on the floor night in and out and willing the Lakers to wins more often than not. The Black Mamba’s resume speaks for itself: five-time NBA champion, two-time Finals MVP, 18-time All-Star, 2008 NBA MVP, two-time Olympic Gold champion, among several other impressive honors and awards.
However, Bryant was also an accomplished media mogul in his post-basketball career, winning an Oscar for his short film “Dear Basketball” as well as starting several other projects aimed toward the youth. He was also involved in the women’s basketball space, becoming an ardent supporter and even coaching his daughter Gianna’s basketball team.
Bryant will forever be wrapped into the fabric of basketball history and his legacy will never be forgotten.
Bryant to have standalone exhibit in Hall of Fame
In addition to his induction into the Hall of Fame, Bryant will also have a standalone exhibit entitled “Kobe: A Basketball Life.”
Several items will be displayed, such as portions of Bryant’s high school basketball court, replicas of his championship rings and other memorable items.
Have you subscribed to our YouTube channel? It’s the best way to watch player interviews, exclusive coverage from events, participate in live shows, and more!