Vanessa Bryant and daughter Natalia Bryant appeared on ESPN Saturday after the announcement that the Kobe Bryant has been officially named an inductee into the Basketball Hall of Fame. In an emotional interview with reporter Rece Davis, Vanessa speaks of her late husband’s accomplishments in the NBA.
“It’s an incredible accomplishment and honor and we’re extremely proud of him,” the mother of four said. “Obviously we wish that he was here with us to celebrate but it’s definitely the peak of his NBA career.”
“Every accomplishment that he had as an athlete was a stepping stone to be here. We’re incredibly proud of him,” she added, noting that she felt “some solace” in recent months “knowing that he was probably going to be a part of the 2020 Hall of Fame class.”
Bryant joins Kevin Garnett and Tim Duncan in the class of 2020, as well as WNBA star Tamika Catchings.
“The Class of 2020 is undoubtedly one of the most historic of all time and the talent and social influence of these nine honorees is beyond measure,” said John L. Doleva, President and CEO of the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame.
“In 2020, the basketball community has suffered the unimaginable loss of iconic figures Commissioner David Stern and Kobe Bryant, as well as the game itself due to COVID-19. We have also banded together like never before in appreciation of the game and those who have made it the uniting force it is today,” he added. “Today we thank the Class of 2020 for all they have done for the game of basketball.”
Kobe Bryant died alongside his daughter GIanna Bryant in a helicopter crash on January 26th, 2020.