The NBA aka Naismith Basketball Hall of Fame induction ceremony for the Class of 2020 on Saturday night with Vanessa Bryant delivering an emotional speech commemorating the life and accomplishments, on and off the court, of the late Kobe Bryant.
Joined onstage by Michael Jordan, Vanessa reassured someone in the audience that she was okay, a brief yet encouraging statement from someone who has proven to be a pillar of strength in wake of the tragic event that occurred a mere 16 months ago. After thanking Jordan for participating in Kobe’s enshrinement, Bryant shared why she would always steer clear of publicly offering praise to the 18-time All-Star.
“I used to always avoid praising my husband in public because I felt like he got enough praise from his fans around the world, and someone had to bring him back to reality,” Vanessa said. “Right now, I’m sure he’s laughing in heaven because I’m about to praise him in public for his accomplishments on one of the most public stages.” “I can see him now, arms folded, with a huge grin, saying, ‘Isn’t this some shit?,’” she continued.
Vanessa spoke about his about his many injuries, and how his fans and Michael Jordan helped his motivating him to compete through the pain. She also spoke about his most valuable accomplishment of being the best girl dad. She also shared a few of her own personal thank yous to her late husband.
“Congratulations, baby. All of your hard work and sacrifice has paid off. You once told me, ‘If you are going to bet on someone, bet on yourself.’ I’m glad you bet on yourself, you overachiever,” she said. “You did it. You’re in the Hall of Fame now. You are a true champ. You’re not just an MVP. You’re an all-time great. I’m so proud of you. I love you forever and always. Kobe. Bean. Bryant.”
SOME HIGHLIGHTS BELOW
“Gigi would be so proud to watch her daddy get enshrined into the basketball Hall of Fame” – Vanessa Bryant
“Kobe would thank all of the people who helped him get here, including the people that doubted him. After all, he proved you wrong.” Vanessa Bryant said
Vanessa Bryant: “Congratulations, baby. All of your hard work and sacrifice has paid off. You once told me, if you are going to bet on someone, bet on yourself. I’m glad you bet on yourself, you overachiever.”
“Thank you for inspiring us to be better than we were the day before.”
“There will never be anyone like Kobe. He was one of a kind.”
To Michael Jordan “Kobe admired you. This means so much to us.”
“You did it. You’re in the Hall of Fame now. You are a true champ. You’re not just an MVP. You’re an all-time great. I’m so proud of you. I love you forever and always. Kobe. Bean. Bryant.” – Vanessa Bryant