The 2020 Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame class has a case for being one of the best in the museum’s history. Legends of the game of basketball — whether they be players, coaches, or broadcasters/journalists from the NBA, WNBA, or the world of college ball — achieved immortality be getting enshrined in Springfield.
The class included three of the greatest NBA players of all time, all of whom competed against one another in their careers: Kevin Garnett, Tim Duncan, and the late Kobe Bryant. Garnett led off the evening with a terrific speech, while Duncan’s was just as good, particularly when he spoke about the influence longtime San Antonio Spurs coach Gregg Popovich had on his life.
But the main event was Bryant’s induction, with his wife, Vanessa, giving a moving tribute to the Los Angeles Lakers star whose passing in a helicopter crash in January of 2020 is still impossible to comprehend. With Michael Jordan standing by her side, Vanessa’s speech was perhaps the best of the night, a poignant recollection of memories about a life taken far too soon. It was funny, heartfelt, celebratory, and just about everything you want out of a speech like this.
If you haven’t yet seen it, or if you’d just like to check it out again, check out the video at the top of this post.