Vanessa Bryant is proud of her late husband Kobe Bryant’s selection into the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame. While speaking with ESPN’s Rece Davis through FaceTime, the mother of four explained that the former Lakers star worked for this moment throughout his entire career.
“Obviously we wish that he was here with us to celebrate,” Vanessa said before adding that it’s the peak of his NBA career. “We’re 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.”
Lakers governor, Jeanie Buss, shared a similar sentiment about Kobe’s selection in a statement following the uplifting news. “No amount of words can fully describe what Kobe Bryant meant to the Los Angeles Lakers,” Buss said in a statement. “Kobe was not only a proven winner and a champion, he gave everything he had to the game of basketball.
He continued, “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.”
In January 2020, news surfaced that Kobe and his 13-year-old daughter, Gianna, were among nine victims that died in a tragic helicopter crash. The following month, a public memoriam was held at Staples Center where many paid their respects to the former NBA star.
“I have no idea how I deserved a man that loved and wanted me more than Kobe,” Vanessa said of Kobe in a heartfelt eulogy. “He was charismatic, a gentleman, he was loving, adoring and romantic. He was truly the romantic one in our relationship and looked forward to Valentine’s day and our anniversaries every year. He planned special anniversary trips and a special traditional gift for every year of our marriage.”