“It’s an incredible accomplishment and honor and we are extremely proud of him,” Vanessa, 37, said in a video conference interview sitting beside her and Kobe’s 17 year old daughter Natalia with ESPN on Saturday, April 4.
Kobe Bryant unfortunately will not see his day of induction due to dying in a helicopter accident in January along with the pair’s 13-year-old daughter, Gianna, and seven others in Calabasas, California.
It is no doubt an incredible accomplishment and a well deserved NBA Hall Of Fame induction for the iconic Kobe Bryant. He is an all time great and had a record book career. Lakers team owner Jeanie Buss said described why Bryant deserved the accolade.
“No amount of words can fully describe what Kobe Bryant meant to the Los Angeles Lakers,” Buss, 58, said in a statement on Saturday. “Kobe was not only a proven winner and a champion, he gave everything he had to the game of basketball. His fierce competitiveness, work ethic and drive were unmatched. Those qualities helped Kobe lead us to five titles — and have now brought him to the Hall of Fame, where he will be enshrined with the greatest to have ever played the game. No one deserves it more.”
Vanessa Bryant during her interview with the sports platform ESPN continued by saying, “Obviously, we wish that he was here with us to celebrate, but it’s definitely the peak of his NBA career and every accomplishment that he had as an athlete was a stepping stone to be here. We are incredibly proud of him and there’s some solace in knowing that he was probably going to be a part of the 2020 Hall of Fame class.”
Other notable names joining Bryant into the hall are:
Tim Duncan, a five-time NBA champion and 15-time NBA All-Star with the San Antonio Spurs. He is the only player in NBA history with at least 1,000 wins with one team;
Kevin Garnett, a 15-time NBA All-Star who won an NBA championship with the Boston Celtics in 2008. He led the league in rebounds for four straight seasons;
Tamika Catchings, a four-time Olympic gold medalist and 2012 WNBA champion with the Indiana Fever. She won the 2011 MVP.
The Class of 2020 will be enshrined on August 29 in Springfield, Massachusetts.