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Kobe Bryant Posthumously Inducted into Basketball Hall of Fame 2 Months after Death

Claudine Varela
Apr 06, 2020
07:01 A.M.
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Vanessa Bryant expressed her pride for her late husband, Kobe Bryant after he was posthumusly inducted to this year's Basketball Hall of Fame.

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Kobe Bryant has been inducted to the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame, sealing his legacy as one of the greatest ballplayers of all time.

Kobe’s posthumous induction was announced on Basketball Hall of Fame’s Twitter account which read,

“He was one of the greatest competitors who stepped on the court and made sure his impact was felt on both sides of the ball. He is ranked 4th on the NBA’s career points list (33,643). We congratulate posthumously 5x NBA Champion Kobe Bryant. #20HoopClass.”

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A LEGEND AMONG LEGENDS

Also joining Kobe among the class of 2020 inductees are his NBA contemporaries Tim Duncan and Kevin Garnett, who, like the late Lakers star, are on their first year of eligibility. They all played their last NBA game three years ago.

Also included among the inductees are WNBA star, Tamika Catchings, coaches Rudy Tomjanovich, Eddie Sutton, Kim Mulkey, and Barbara Stevens and FIBA executive, Patrick Baumann.

Kobe Bryant of the Los Angeles Lakers during a game against the Sacramento Kings in January 2011. | Photo: Getty Images

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VANESSA'S RESPONSE TO KOBE'S INDUCTION

Kobe’s induction came two months after his tragic death along with his daughter, Gianna. His wife, Vanessa Bryant expressed her pride for her late husband shortly after the Hall of Fame announcement was made.

Kobe played for the Lakers throughout his entire career of 20 NBA seasons where he also won five NBA championships, one league MVP, and two Finals MVP titles.

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In a video for ESPN, Vanessa, accompanied by her eldest daughter, Natalia, spoke on behalf of her family. She admitted that it would have been perfect if Kobe was alive to receive the award himself. However, in his absence, Vanessa lauded her husband for his achievement.

“It’s an incredible accomplishment and honor and we’re extremely proud of him…it’s definitely the peak of his NBA career,” she said. “Every accomplishment that he had as an athlete was a stepping stone to be here,” she added. “We’re incredibly proud of him.”

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UNDOUBTEDLY A HALL OF FAMER

Vanessa further shared that in recent months, she felt comforted knowing Kobe would be part of the 2020 Hall of Fame roster. Meanwhile, Hall of Fame chairman, Jerry Colangelo never doubted this.

“When people talk about the greats of all time, it’s pretty difficult to say who was No. 1, and who’s 2, and who’s 3, but there are four to five names that always get mentioned, we know that. Kobe’s right there with everybody,” he explained in a clip for NBA TV in January following Kobe's death adding,

"There’s no doubt in my mind. He’s going to be honored. He’s going into the Hall of Fame.”

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Kobe’s team, the Los Angeles Lakers marked the milestone in a tweet. Along with a video commemorating their MVP, the tweet read, “Champion. MVP. Hall of Famer. #MambaForever”

Kobe played for the Lakers throughout his entire career of 20 NBA seasons where he also won five NBA championships, one league MVP, and two Finals MVP titles. He was also an 18-time All-Star player and ranks fourth among the leading scorers in the NBA’s history. Moreover, he won two Olympic gold medals with the US men’s national team.

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