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Video: Vanessa Bryant Honors Kobe with Powerful 2020 Basketball HOF Induction Speech

Paul KasabianFeatured Columnist IIMay 16, 2021

UNCASVILLE, CONNECTICUT - MAY 15: Vanessa Bryant speaks on behalf of Class of 2020 inductee, Kobe Bryant alongside presenter Michael Jordan during the 2021 Basketball Hall of Fame Enshrinement Ceremony at Mohegan Sun Arena on May 15, 2021 in Uncasville, Connecticut. Kobe Bryant tragically died in a California helicopter crash on Jan 26, 2020. (Photo by Maddie Meyer/Getty Images)
Maddie Meyer/Getty Images

Vanessa Bryant delivered a stirring, emotional and powerful speech to present her late husband, Los Angeles Lakers legend Kobe Bryant, for enshrinement into the Basketball Hall of Fame.

The entire 12-minute speech can be found below:

Bryant presented her husband alongside NBA legend Michael Jordan. She covered numerous topics, including the significant physical toll he endured to play through pain:

Los Angeles Lakers @Lakers

pic.twitter.com/QQsxwgldi9

Vanessa recalled asking Kobe why he didn't just sit to rest and let injuries heal, and the five-time NBA champion provided this response:

Los Angeles Lakers @Lakers

pic.twitter.com/bUSkRJDcYx

Bryant is one of the most driven, motivated and relentless workers in NBA history, and his doubters helped fuel his work ethic. 

TSN @TSN_Sports

Kobe's haters were his motivators ๐Ÿ’ช pic.twitter.com/Vsf6VF0ZWm

That's also something Jordan is known quite well for. Bryant also took the time to thank MJ for appearing alongside her.

TSN @TSN_Sports

Bryant and MJ forever โค๏ธ pic.twitter.com/bSiiFfe03f

There were moments of levity, like when Vanessa Bryant imagined how Kobe Bryant would act at the ceremony:

Arash Markazi @ArashMarkazi

Vanessa Bryant on Kobe watching her hall of fame speech from Heaven: โ€œI can see him now with arms folded with a huge grin saying, โ€˜Isnโ€™t this some shit.โ€™โ€๐Ÿ˜‚ pic.twitter.com/87Kj4N5vJv

There were also many emotional moments, like when Vanessa Bryant mentioned how her late daughter, Gianna, would react upon seeing her father enshrined.

The Undefeated @TheUndefeated

"Gigi would be so proud to watch her daddy get enshrined into the basketball Hall of Fame" - Vanessa Bryant<br><br>โค๏ธ pic.twitter.com/lVQy2Yj6fd

Vanessa Bryant closed as follows:

Bleacher Report @BleacherReport

"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."<br><br>- Vanessa Bryant<br><br>(via @TSN_Sports)pic.twitter.com/u7lvaa6BTw

Bryant received tons of well-deserved praise for her excellent speech, with some examples below:

Jasmine @JasmineLWatkins

Vanessa Bryant just embodies strength

Jorge Sedano @Sedano

Vanessa Bryant... She was simply incredible and powerful.

Overtime @overtime

Vanessa Bryant. So strong. So powerful. <br><br>Thank you for delivering an iconic speech ๐Ÿ’œ๐Ÿ’› pic.twitter.com/fU2rP9Keg9

NBA on TNT @NBAonTNT

What a moment. โœŠ<br><br>Vanessa Bryant and Michael Jordan present Kobe Bryant into @hoophall. pic.twitter.com/uVPWYOa64x

Play-in Game Faigen @hmfaigen

Vanessa Bryant is just indescribably strong.

Arash Markazi @ArashMarkazi

Vanessa Bryant is such an incredible public speaker. pic.twitter.com/apsK17z9hU

Rachel Nichols @Rachel__Nichols

Oh Vanessa.

Kobe Bryant was one of nine new members inducted into the Hall of Fame class of 2020 on Saturday.

His career included 18 All-Star Game appearances, five NBA championships, two NBA Finals MVP awards, 15 All-NBA team nods, the 2007-08 regular-season NBA MVP and many more accolades.