“I want my husband to be here to accept this amazing award,” Bryant’s wife Vanessa Bryant said during the ceremony when basketball legend Michael Jordan joined her on stage. “He and Gigi deserved to be here to witness it. Gigi would be so proud to watch her father enter the Basketball Hall of Fame.”
“There will never be anyone like Kobe,” said Vanessa Bryant. “Kobe was one of a kind. He was special, he was humble – off the court – but bigger than life.”
She concluded, “Congratulations, darling. All your hard work and sacrifices have paid off.
“You did it. You’re already in the Hall of Fame. You̵
Among the nine introduced on Saturday were former Minnesota Timberwolves and Boston Celtics striker Kevin Garnett and San Antonio Spurs striker Tim Duncan, who remembered playing against his Hall of Fame classmates Garnett and Bryant.
“You are at your best when you face the best,” Duncan said. “I want to thank the late great Kobe Bryant of KG. You guys asked for the best of me and that brought the best of me. Thank you guys.”
WNBA legend for Indiana fever Tamika Catchings was also introduced on Saturday.
“Basketball chose me,” Ketches said. “An awkward, excited, introverted donkey, born with a hearing impairment, a speech impediment and a will to overcome obstacles, big dreams and change the world.”
“We all have dreams and goals,” Ketchings added. “And whether you’re young or old, born with a disability, or told about things you can’t accomplish, tonight I’m sharing the same words my parents shared with me, with a twist. If anyone can do that, You can. Shoot for the stars, work hard and catch your dream. “
Among others appointed were coaches Kim Mulkey, Barbara Stevens, Eddie Sutton and Rudy Tomjanovic. Swiss basketball executive Patrick Bowman was posthumously introduced by the International Committee.