Vanessa Bryant honors late husband Kobe Bryant with speech at Basketball Hall of Fame ceremony

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The Class of 2020 was inducted into the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame on Saturday, and this group featured a number of all-time legends including Kevin Garnett, Tim Duncan and Tamika Catchings. But even with all of that star power, the biggest name was still the late Kobe Bryant.

Last January, the former Los Angeles Lakers star died along with his daughter Gianna and seven others in a tragic helicopter accident. His passing reverberated across the world, and this weekend’s celebrations were a reminder of how much he meant to not only the game of basketball but the entire sports community. 

During the induction ceremony, Bryant was presented by Michael Jordan, and his wife, Vanessa, delivered a speech in his place. 

Vanessa joking about finally praising Kobe in public:

“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. 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 s—.'”

Vanessa thanking Kobe’s doubters for motivating him:

“I do know that he would thank everyone that helped him get here, including the people that doubted him, and the people that worked against him and told him he couldn’t attain his goals. He would thank all of them for motivating him to be here. After all, he proved you wrong.”

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