Everyone knew it was coming, Kobe Bryant was a lock first-ballot Hall of Famer.
It didn’t make the announcement that he was officially in any less emotional.
Bryant’s widow, Vanessa Bryant, appeared on the ESPN show announcing the 2020 class and spoke about her husband.
"We're incredibly proud of him."
Vanessa and Natalia Bryant joined Rece Davis after Kobe's induction into the Basketball Hall of Fame. pic.twitter.com/HX31pyvgPe
— ESPN (@espn) April 4, 2020
“Obviously, we wish he was here with us to celebrate, but it’s definitely the peak of his NBA career. Every accomplishment he had as an athlete was a stepping stone to be here.”
The love for Kobe poured out from every corner of the Lakers’ organization on Saturday.
“No amount of words can fully describe what Kobe Bryant meant to the Los Angeles Lakers,” said Lakers co-owner and governor Jeanie Buss. “Kobe was not only a proven winner and a champion, he gave everything he had to the game of basketball. 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.”
What a journey it's been. Welcome to the Hall of Fame, Kobe. pic.twitter.com/4tLIttRyaW
— Los Angeles Lakers (@Lakers) April 4, 2020
“Kobe was always one to downplay his professional accomplishments – MVPs, NBA championships, gold medals, Oscars, and on and on and on,” said Lakers Vice President of Basketball Operations and General Manager Rob Pelinka. “But all of us can trust that this Basketball Hall of Fame honor is one Kobe would, and will, deeply appreciate. The highest of congratulations to you, dear friend. This one is so well deserved — for all the hard work, sweat and toil. Now, a part of you will live in the Hall with the rest of the all-time greats, where your legend and spirit will continue to grow forever.”