by Nick Hamilton (@NickHamiltonLA)
LOS ANGELES — The global icon known as Kobe Bryant was inducted into the Basketball Hall Of Fame as it was announced on Saturday afternoon. The Lakers superstar and five-time NBA champion played twenty seasons in the league before retiring and made a massive impact on the game of basketball on and off the court.
“No amount of words can fully describe what Kobe Bryant meant to the Los Angeles Lakers,” owner Jeanie Buss said. “Kobe was not only a proven winner and champion, he gave everything he had to the game of basketball…. no one deserves more.”
Bryant along with his daughter Gianna and seven others were tragically killed in a helicopter crash just outside Los Angeles on January 26. The legacy and memory of Bryant will forever live on, what Bryant did for those outside of basketball was remarkable. Not only being a great father and family man, coaching his daughter’s basketball team, but reaching out to the youth across many communities in Los Angeles. Bryant is not only a two-time Olympic Gold Medalist (2008, 2012), nine-time NBA All-Defensive First Team member (2000, 2003, 2004, 2006-11), and scored 81 points against the Toronto Raptors. Bryant led the NBA in total points for four seasons (2003, 2006, 2007, 2008), MVP award, two-time Finals MVP and finished his career with 33, 643 total points. Bryant is ranked fourth on the All-Time listed , where Lebron James, Karl Malone, and Kareem Abdul-Jabbar are ahead of Bryant.
He was also an 18-time NBA All-Star and finished a nine-time NBA All-Defensive First Team player.
No one can talk about the NBA or how many today’s young stars grew up watching and idolizing Bryant, much like Bryant grew up idolizing the great Michael Jordan. Bryant won his first three titles with Shaquille O’Neal who will forever be deemed the best 1-2 poignant combo in the league. Later Bryant would win tow more titles and later share 2009 All-Star Game MVP honor with his former teammate in O’Neal.
Many can talk about the comparisons between James and Jordan, but we will never forget the legacy made by Bryant.
Kevin Garnett, Tim Duncan, coach Rudy Tomjanovich, coach Eddie Sutton, 10-time WNBA All-Star and four time Olympic Gold Medalist Tameka Catchings, coach Kim Mulkey (Baylor), and coach Beverly Stevens join Bryant as the 2020 Hall Of Fame Class.