Kobe Bryant Basketball Hall of Fame latest – Vanessa emotionally praises star for 'bringing so much joy to the world'

KOBE Bryant was emotionally praised by his wife Vanessa as he was inducted into the Basketball Hall of Fame on Saturday night.

The Laker legend's enshrinement came over a year after he, his 13-year-old daughter, and seven others went down in a helicopter crash on January 26, 2020, in the California city of Calabasas.

During the ceremony, Kobe was praised by his widow, who detailed the all-star's long list of accomplishments before he died.

"There will never be anyone like Kobe," she told the crowd in her tearful tribute. "He and Gigi deserve to be here to witness this."

She went on to praise her late husband as "humble, but bigger than life," and said if he were alive, he'd have a "long list of people to thank for getting him here."

Vanessa said Kobe never wanted to disappoint his fans, especially people who "saved up money to watch him play."

She said the NBA star would "play every minute of every game" if he could, because he "loved all of his fans so much."

"You did it. You're in the Hall of Fame now," Vanessa said, while calling Kobe the "Mickey to her Minnie."

"You're not just an MVP, you're an all-time great," she said before holding Michael Jordan's hand and walking off the stage to a standing ovation as the crowd loudly chanted: "Kobe!"

  • Nicole Darrah

    'BROUGHT JOY TO THE WORLD'

    Vanessa said Kobe "brought so much joy to our lives and around the world."

    She thanked him for being "the best husband and father" who learned from his mistakes and always tried to be better.

     

  • Nicole Darrah

    KOBE'S DETERMINATION

    Vanessa explained that Kobe never wanted to miss a game and always played despite injuries.

    "He didn't want to disappoint his fans, especially people who saved up money to watch him play," she said of the MVP.

    "If he could help it, he'd play every minute of every game. He loved all of his fans so much."

  • Nicole Darrah

    'KOBE! KOBE! KOBE!

    As Vanessa and Michael Jordan exited the stage, chants of "Kobe! Kobe! Kobe!" broke out among attendees.

    Vanessa received a standing ovation from the crowd.

  • Nicole Darrah

    KOBE'S FAVORITE PLAYER

    Vanessa hinted during the ceremony on Saturday night that Michael Jordan was Kobe's favorite NBA player.

  • Nicole Darrah

    OFFICIAL ENSHRINEMENT

    Kobe Bryant was official inducted into the Hall of Fame. Vanessa accepted the honor while standing with her girls alongside other inductees.

  • Nicole Darrah

    KOBE'S THANKS

    “Kobe would thank all of the people who helped him get here, including the people that doubted him," Vanessa Bryant told the crowd as Michael Jordan appeared to grin.

    "After all, he proved you wrong."

  • Niamh Cavanagh

    HEARTBREAKING END OF TRIBUTE BY VANESSA

    "Dear kobe, thank you for being the best husband and father, learning from mistakes, trying to be better, never giving up on us, for all your hard work, for our family, our daughters," she said.

    "You did it! You're in the hall of fame now."

  • Niamh Cavanagh

    'VERY BEST GIRL DAD'

    Among his many accomplishments, including an Oscar and being named MVP, Vanessa paid tribute to Kobe's biggest accomplishment, being the 'very best girl dad'.

    Credit: ESPN
  • Niamh Cavanagh

    KOBE PLAYED THROUGH INJURY AS HE NEVER WANTED TO DISAPPOINT FANS, SAYS VANESSA

    "If he could help it, he'd play every minute of every game he loved all of his fans so much," she said.

    "Kobe didn't want to disappoint his fans – especially people who saved up money to watch him play."

  • Niamh Cavanagh

    'THANK YOU FOR RAISING KOBE AS EXCEPTIONAL' SAYS VANESSA

    Vanessa thanked Kobe Bryant's parents at the Hall of Fame ceremony for raising him as 'exceptional'.

    "I invited his parents tonight to thank them.

    "Thank you for raising Kobe to be exceptional."

    Credit: ESPN
  • Niamh Cavanagh

    VANESSA PAYS EMOTIONAL TRIBUTE TO LATE HUSBAND KOBE

    "I'm sure he's laughing in heaven because I'm about to praise him on one of the most public stages," she said.

    "I can hear him now saying with a huge grin; isn't this some sh*t?

    "He's still winning."

  • Niamh Cavanagh

    WHERE TO BUY MAMBACITA CLOTHING?

    Vanessa Bryant announced the launch of the Mambacita clothing line in an Instagram tribute to Gianna, who was also known as Gigi.

    The clothing line is being sold through Dannijo, and almost completely sold out on the first day, according to Fox Business.

    "When I thought about how best to celebrate Gianna’s birthday with so many who loved her, I knew it had to be a combination of sharing her bright and fun personality with her sense of purpose and passion that would help make a difference in this world," Vanessa wrote on Instagram.

    Gigi's basketball nickname was Mambacita, which was similar to her father's nickname of Black Mamba.

    "I wish you were here with us. There are no words to express how much I miss you," Vanessa would also write on Instagram.

  • Niamh Cavanagh

    TRIBUTE FOR KOBE AT CEREMONY

    The late Kobe Bryant is honored, as are others who have died, as Ne-Yo sings "Incredible" during the 2020 Basketball Hall of Fame enshrinement ceremony.

    Credit: AP
  • Niamh Cavanagh

    VANESSA AT THE HALL OF FAME CEREMONY

    Vanessa Bryant, center, the wife of the Kobe Bryant, speaks to Connecticut women's basketball coach Geno Auriemma, before the start of the 2020 Basketball Hall of Fame enshrinement ceremony.

    Credit: AP
  • Jon Rogers

    INSIDE KOBE'S CHILDHOOD HOME

    Kobe Bryant's childhood home in Pennsylvania sold for $810,000, according to reports in November 2020.

    The Los Angeles Lakers legend lived in the family home as a teenager, say TMZ Sports.

    The Bryant family left the stunning five-bedroom property in the Philadelphia area in 2008.

    And the most-recent owners put it on the market in September for an asking price of $801,000.

    After two months on the market, the home – which features the basketball hoop on which a young Kobe mastered his art – sold for $810,000.

    The hoop Bryant is said to have used as a teenager is still intactCredit: David Wyher and TJ Sokso/Compass/Bright MLS
  • Niamh Cavanagh

    TRIBUTE TO LATE ATHLETE

    A tribute montage for Kobe Bryant played at the ceremony this evening.

    Credit: ESPN
  • Niamh Cavanagh

    NEYO SINGS AT CEREMONY

    Musician Neyo sang at the Hall of Fame ceremony today ahead of Bryant's enshrinement.

    Credit: ESPN
  • Niamh Cavanagh

    BASKETBALL HALL OF FAME TRIBUTE

  • Jon Rogers

    WHO ARE THE KOBE BRYANT COPS ACCUSED OF LEAKING PHOTOS?

    FOUR Los Angeles County Sheriff’s deputies are alleged to have shared photos from the site of the helicopter crash that killed Kobe Bryant.

    Their names were revealed when Kobe’s widow Vanessa Bryant, 37, posted images of lawsuit documents she filed against Los Angeles County, the sheriff’s department, the county fire department, and the deputies.

    Joey Cruz, Rafael Mejia, Michael Russell and Raul Versales have been named as defendants in the civil rights lawsuit filed by Vanessa stemming from the crash on January 26, 2020.

    Their names were revealed when a Los Angeles federal judge rejected a bid by county attorneys to have the deputies’ names withheld to prevent them being the targets of hackers.

    The four deputies have been named in a lawsuitCredit: Instagram/Vanessa Bryant

     

  • Niamh Cavanagh

    'LIKE A BROTHER'

    Kevin Garnett discussed his relationship with Kobe Bryant.

    "Kobe Bryant was like a little brother to me, man," he said.

    "I got to see Kob when he was very young and not as polished as everybody got to see him.He was very vulnerable, we were both vulnerable and very young.

    "And we used to always interact with each other with that youthfulness, with that kid persona.

    "We’d always talk the game.”

  • Niamh Cavanagh

    UNDOING TRUMP

    President Joe Biden on Friday canceled Donald Trump's "Garden of American Heroes" that was supposed to honor greats like Kobe Bryant, Alex Trebek, and Ruth Bader Ginsburg.

    According to his order in July 2020, Trump planned to launch the garden to memorialize Americans who made history in politics, sports, and culture, among others. 

    The garden was supposed to include statues of Kobe Bryant, Julie Child, Ruth Bader Ginsburg, Whitney Houston, Harriet Tubman, Antonin Scalia, Alex Trebek, Davy Crockett, and Billy Graham.

    “The National Garden should be located on a site of natural beauty that enables visitors to enjoy nature, walk among the statues, and be inspired to learn about great figures of America’s history,” Trump's order read.

    This order was also revoked by the Biden administration.

  • Jon Rogers

    WHEN IS GIGI BRYANT'S BIRTHDAY?

    GIANNA Bryant, the daughter of Kobe and Vanessa Bryant, would have turned 15 on May 1, 2021.

    The teen was killed in a helicopter crash, along with Kobe and seven others, on January 26, 2020.

    Gianna, also known as Gigi, was born on May 1, 2006.

    Mother Vanessa Bryant paid tribute to her daughter on what would have been the girl's 15th birthday.

    "Dear Gianna, Happy 15th Birthday!" Vanessa wrote on Instagram.

    "I love you! I miss you everyday! I wish you were here with us. There are no words to express how much I miss you. I love you Mamacita!"

  • Niamh Cavanagh

    THE NEW YORK KNICKS HONOR THE LATE KOBE BRYANT

    The New York Knicks honor the late Kobe Bryant as he is inducted into the Basketball Hall of Fame.

    Credit: Getty Images – Getty
  • Niamh Cavanagh

    MAMBA FOREVER

    Kobe Bryant's widow Vanessa posed with a picture of the star as he is set to be inducted into the Hall of Fame tomorrow.

    It comes over a year after the NBA legend, his 13-year-old daughter, and seven others went down on January 26, 2020, in the California city of Calabasas.

    On Friday, Vanessa uploaded a photograph with the caption "love you always," showing her posing with a large black and white photo of Kobe.

    She later went on to publish photographs of the couple's daughters, Bianka and Capri at different points of "Daddy's Hall of Fame exhibit."

    The exhibit held various Bryant jerseys, from his time with the Lakers, as well as screens showing video footage of the legend.

  • Jon Rogers

    WHO ELSE WAS ON BOARD KOBE'S FATAL FLIGHT?

    On board the flight were: Bryant and Gianna, Orange Coast College baseball coach John Altobelli, his wife, Keri, and their daughter Alyssa, Christina Mauser, who was affiliated with Gianna's team, Sarah Chester and her daughter Payton and Zobayan himself.

    Gianna, Alyssa, and Payton were teammates on their way to a tournament.

    Bryant's wife, Vanessa, recently said she sometimes "doesn't feel like being alive" as the anniversary approaches of her husband's death.

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