Kobe Bryant officially becomes Hall of Famer, Vanessa Bryant delivers emotional speech

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Kobe Bryant was officially inducted into the Basketball Hall of Fame on Saturday night.

Bryant, and his daughter Gigi, were among those who died in a helicopter crash in California in January 2020. It was announced sooner after his death he would be enshrined into the Hall in Springfield, Massachusetts. However, the coronavirus pandemic pushed the ceremonies back to May 2021.

Vanessa Bryant, left, widow of Kobe Bryant presents their daughter Natalia with Bryant’s Hall of Fame jacket at the 2020 Basketball Hall of Fame awards tip-off celebration and awards gala, Friday, May 14, 2021, in Uncasville, Conn. (AP Photo/Kathy Willens)

Vanessa Bryant wrapped her speech with a special thank you to her husband. She received a standing ovation along with “Kobe chants” as she left the stage.

“You did it. You’re in the Hall of Fame now. You’re a true champ. You’re not just an MVP – you’re an all-time great. I’m so proud of you. I love you forever and always, Kobe Bean Bryant,” she added.

Bryant was inducted along with other fellow greats Kevin Garnett and Tim Duncan. Also in the 2020 class: former FIBA executive Patrick Baumann, WNBA star Tamika Catchings, LSU women’s basketball coach Kim Mulkey, five-time Division II Coach of the Year Barbara Stevens, former Houston Rockets coach Rudy Tomjanovich and the late former men’s college basketball coach Eddie Sutton.

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