Kobe Bryant will be posthumously inducted into the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame this weekend
Vanessa Bryant has the impossible task of privately grieving the loss of her husband and daughter while simultaneously keeping the basketball great’s legend alive to the public. It’s a cruel task that no one should ever have to face, yet Bryant seems to be doing the best she can in the best way possible. That’s more than we, as the general public, deserve. Yet again and again, Bryant offers us a glimpse of the man she loved. And this past week, she paid a lovely tribute to her late husband ahead of his induction into the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame.
Kobe Bryant, who died in a tragic helicopter crash alongside daughter Gianna and seven others in January 2020, is set to be honored today by Michael Jordan as a member of the 2020 class being inducted into the Hall of Fame. The event was delayed from last year due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
Ahead of the induction ceremony, Vanessa shared photos of daughters Capri, 22 months, and Bianka, 4, posing at their late father’s Hall of Fame exhibit.
In a pre-induction ceremony, Bryant received Kobe’s Hall of Fame jacket.
“Vanessa and Natalia Bryant received Kobe’s Hall of Fame jacket. Chants of ‘Kobe’ started in the crowd. Simply amazing,” Sidelines Sports tweeted.
On Saturday afternoon, Magic Johnson praised the late basketball star, stating, “We all are so blessed to have witnessed Kobe’s greatness on and off the court.”
“If he was present at this ceremony, I know he would have dazzled and mesmerized the audience at the HOF and those watching at home with his charisma, wit and intelligence,” Johnson continued in his tweet.
We all are so blessed to have witnessed Kobe’s greatness on and off the court. If he was present at this ceremony, I know he would have dazzled and mesmerized the audience at the HOF and those watching at home with his charisma, wit and intelligence.
— Earvin Magic Johnson (@MagicJohnson) May 15, 2021
Vanessa recently paid tribute to her daughter Gianna on what would have been her 15th birthday with a set of touching social media tributes.
“Dear Gianna, Happy 15th Birthday! I love you!” Bryant captioned the Instagram photo. “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!”
In another post, which was a portrait of Vanessa and her daughters, Vanessa wrote, “Today is my Baby’s Birthday. 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. Gianna was kind, energetic, a leader, and had so much MAMBACITA swag.”
Vanessa shared the vision of the foundation she founded to carry on the legacy of her late husband and daughter.
“Mamba and Mambacita Sports Foundation, which is dedicated to creating positive impact for underserved athletes and young women in sports,” she wrote. “Gigi was especially motivated to change the way everyone viewed women in sports[…].”
At the time, Vanessa expressed her thanks for the public’s support.
“Please know our family deeply appreciates the way the world continues to celebrate our sweet girl, and we look forward to paying it forward to future Lil MAMBACITAS and Lady Mambas through the work of our Foundation,” she said.