Kobe Bryant – Class of 2020 Hall of Fame Inductee
Yesterday the 2020 Naismith Basketball Hall of Fame Ceremony was held, which was headlined by a trio of NBA stars such as Kevin Garnett, Tim Duncanand the late Kobe Bryant. It was a long-awaited event for the basketball world that was delayed due to the COVID pandemic, but the ceremony itself was not to be missed, especially for those who wanted to honor Byrant’s career and his contributions to sport.
There were moments of light reflection, moments of tears, but it was a moment to fully honor one of the best players of his generation. While Kobe may not be with us, his enduring competitive spirit and Mamba mentality mantra is still relevant today.
It was normal that the people closest to Kobe, Vanessa bryant and his compatriot Michael Jordan, would induct him, knowing how much influence the latter had on Bryant during his career in the NBA. For Vanessa, Kobe was more than just a basketball player, he was an icon, a resilient warrior and a philosopher.
When Vanessa recalled asking Kobe Bryant why he played through his injuries, she recalled Kobe telling her he did it just for fans to see him play. The retelling of this story was to remind many that Kobe Brant was willing to do whatever it takes to win, a testament to sacrificing his body and the undeniable desire to win at any cost.
“Congratulations, baby. All of your hard work and sacrifice has paid off, ”said Vanessa. “You once said to me, ‘If you bet on somebody, bet on yourself.’ I’m glad you bet on yourself you are outperforming. You did it. You are now in the Hall of Fame. You are a true champion. You are not just an MVP. You are an all-time great. I’m so proud of you. I love you forever and ever, Kobe Bean Bryant.
For Jordan, who is arguably considered the greatest of all time, he saw Kobe not only as a student of the game, but also as someone he would have a close relationship with as a mentor and later as a that friend. Kobe studied the way Jordan played before joining the NBA and every time Jordan and Kobe faced off on the court it was like a passing of the torch, seeing how both players had such a passion for the game. .
Days before the ceremony, Jordan had mentioned that he recorded the text message conversation he and Kobe had a few days before Kobe Bryant’s untimely death.
“I don’t know why,” he said, “but I just can’t delete it”, Jordan said during his interview about his relationship with Kobe.
Jordan’s mere sentimental thought clinging to text messages from fellow Hall of Famer shows a deeper level of respect and understanding between the two. A bond of two great which cannot be broken. It must be taken into account that a connection between Jordan and Kobe goes beyond the unity and brotherly union of basketball.
For Kobe Bryant himself, it was a long but busy journey. Bryant’s journey to the Hall of Fame began in Italy, where his father, Joe “Jelly Bean” Bryant played for many years. It would be his stay in Italy, where he not only fell in love with basketball, but also struck up a friendship with another comrade. Inducted into the Hall of Fame in Tamika Catchings.
Kobe Bryant’s journey took him to Lower Merion High School in Philadelphia and to the 1996 NBA Draft, selected 13th overall by the Charlotte Hornets before being traded to the Los Angeles Lakers, where he would win five NBA Championships, two Finals MVPs, one regular season MVP in 2008, among many accolades. Kobe Bryant’s daughter, Natalia bryant wore the Hall of Fame blazer in honor of his father, which means he is now a Hall of Fame.