Enshrined for Eternity

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Bryant, Duncan, Garnett, Others Enshrined in the Basketball Hall of Fame

“Kobe! Kobe! Kobe!” the crowd shouted.

As Vanessa Bryant walked off the stage with Michael Jordan by her side, the arena broke out in chants celebrating her late husband and all-time NBA great Kobe Bryant.

It has been a little over a year since his tragic passing and on Saturday night, his career’s accomplishments were enshrined for eternity along with a star-studded Hall of Fame class. Saturday night was one more opportunity to not only celebrate Bryant, but to remember his greatness both on and off the court.

“There will never be anyone like Kobe,” Vanessa Bryant said. “Kobe was one of a kind. He was special. He was humble — off the court — but bigger than life.”

A league MVP, a five-time NBA champion, an Olympic gold medalist, a New York Times best selling author, and the first professional athlete to ever win an Oscar. Bryant was more than just a basketball player – he was intelligent, well-rounded, and an inspiration. It is truly heartbreaking that he was not able to be at the ceremony along side other legendary figures in the game of basketball.

 

Joining Bryant in his Hall of Fame class were two of the greatest power forwards the game has ever seen in Kevin Garnett and Tim Duncan.

“I appreciate you,” Garnett said to Duncan from the stage. “It’s an honor to go into the hall with you, bro. You and Kob.”

Rounding out the Hall of Fame class were three-time NCAA champion coach Kim mulkey, two-time NBA champion coach Rudy Tomjanovich, four-time Olympic gold medalist Tamika Catchings, three-time Final Four coach Eddie Sutton, 1,000-game winner Barbara Stevens and longtime FIBA secretary general Patrick Baumann.

In what was truly a legendary Hall of Fame class, Bryant, Garnett, Duncan and Catchings combined for 58 All-Star appearances during their playing careers. Meanwhile Mulkey, Tomjanovich, Sutton and Stevens have combined for more than 3,000 coaching wins.

“My life turned out better than my wildest dreams,” Tomjanovich said, his voice cracking.

While the 2020 class may be hard to top, the 2021 class is quite impressive in its own right.

Paul Pierce, Chris Bosh, Chris Webber, Ben Wallace, and Rick Adelman are among the names that will soon be joining the long list of Hall of Famers immortalized in Springfield. WNBA legends Yolanda Griffith and Lauren Jackson will be honoured for their greatness, while Toni Kukoc was voted in for his accomplishment both in the NBA and oversees.

The Hall of Fame ceremony is one of the most important days on the NBA calendar and it is truly an honour to witness the greats of the sports being celebrated for their otherworldly accomplishments.

Congratulations to the 2020 class and an early tip of the cap to the incoming 2021 class.

Mamba out.

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