Vanessa Bryant 'Proud' of Late Husband Kobe Bryant Following Basketball Hall of Fame Induction
Late basketball player Kobe Bryant was recently inducted into the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame and his wife couldn't be prouder of him.
On Saturday, following the induction, Vanessa Bryant appeared on ESPN with her 17-year-old daughter Natalia to reflect on how bittersweet the milestone felt.
A VERY SPECIAL MOMENT
According to the 37-year-old, she is "extremely proud" of Kobe and it was an incredible accomplishment and honor for him to make it into the Hall of Fame.
However, despite being happy to see his name amongst the basketball greats, Vanessa couldn't help but feel sad that he wasn't there with them to celebrate.
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My girls and I want to thank the millions of people who’ve shown support and love during this horrific time. Thank you for all the prayers. We definitely need them. We are completely devastated by the sudden loss of my adoring husband, Kobe — the amazing father of our children; and my beautiful, sweet Gianna — a loving, thoughtful, and wonderful daughter, and amazing sister to Natalia, Bianka, and Capri. We are also devastated for the families who lost their loved ones on Sunday, and we share in their grief intimately. There aren’t enough words to describe our pain right now. I take comfort in knowing that Kobe and Gigi both knew that they were so deeply loved. We were so incredibly blessed to have them in our lives. I wish they were here with us forever. They were our beautiful blessings taken from us too soon. I’m not sure what our lives hold beyond today, and it’s impossible to imagine life without them. But we wake up each day, trying to keep pushing because Kobe, and our baby girl, Gigi, are shining on us to light the way. Our love for them is endless — and that’s to say, immeasurable. I just wish I could hug them, kiss them and bless them. Have them here with us, forever. Thank you for sharing your joy, your grief and your support with us. We ask that you grant us the respect and privacy we will need to navigate this new reality. To honor our Team Mamba family, the Mamba Sports Foundation has set up the MambaOnThree Fund to help support the other families affected by this tragedy. To donate, please go to MambaOnThree.org. To further Kobe and Gianna’s legacy in youth sports, please visit MambaSportsFoundation.org. Thank you so much for lifting us up in your prayers, and for loving Kobe, Gigi, Natalia, Bianka, Capri and me. #Mamba #Mambacita #GirlsDad #DaddysGirls #Family ❤️
Nevertheless, she considered Kobe's induction the peak of his NBA career, adding that "every accomplishment that he had as an athlete was a stepping stone to be here."
Kobe was a five-time NBA champion, an 11-time All-NBA first-team selection and an 18-time All-Star
The grieving wife explained that she found solace in the fact that she knew he was "probably going to be a part of the 2020 Hall of Fame class."
This was a possibility advanced by Jerry Colangelo, Chairman of the Hall of Fame, shortly after the basketball player and his 13-year-old daughter Gianna lost their lives in a helicopter crash.
ONE OF THE BEST
At the time, Colangelo pointed out that it is difficult to say who were the best players of all time but that there are four to five names that always get mentioned and Kobe's was one of them. He said:
"Kobe’s right there with everybody. There’s no doubt in my mind. He's going to be honored. He’s going into the Hall of Fame.”
The Hall of Fame Chairman also revealed that the 2020 class would be the most epic in its history and that it would include athletes such as Tim Duncan and Kevin Garnett.
TWO DECADES OF ACCOLADES
Kobe will forever be regarded as one of the best and most complete basketball players to have competed in the NBA, earning multiple trophies during his 20-year career with the Los Angeles Lakers.
Aside from earning gold medals with the USA Basketball team at the 2008 Beijing Olympics and 2012 London Olympics, Kobe was a five-time NBA champion, an 11-time All-NBA first-team selection and an 18-time All-Star.