It was a bittersweet day for the Bryant family.
On Saturday (May 15), Vanessa Bryant took to the stage alongside presenter Michael Jordan to honor late husband Kobe Bryant as he was inducted into the Basketball Hall of Fame on Saturday (May 15) at the Mohegan Sun Arena in Uncasville, Conn.
During her speech, Vanessa broke down in tears as she honored Kobe.
Click inside to find out what Vanessa Bryant said…
“I used to avoid praising my husband in public because I felt like he got enough praise from his fans around the world and someone had to bring him back to reality,” Vanessa said via People. “Right now, I’m sure he’s laughing in heaven because I’m about to praise him in public for his accomplishments on one of the most public stages. I could see him know, arms folded, with a huge grin saying, ‘Isn’t this some s–t?’ He’s still winning.”
“I wish my husband was here to accept this incredible award. He and Gigi deserve to be here to witness this. Gigi would be so proud to watch her daddy get enshrined in the Basketball Hall of Fame. I know Kobe was looking forward to being here. He asked the Hall of Fame to specifically add a sixth ticket for Capri, he was so happy,” she continued.
“There will never be anyone like Kobe. Kobe was one of a kind. He was special, he was humble off the court but bigger than life,” Vanessa shared. “To all of our close friends and family that have been present for my girls and I, thank you. That list is long and it takes a village but know that your kindness and love does not go unappreciated. I know that Kobe is thankful that you’re all coming through for his girls. We love you and are forever grateful for you.”
“If my husband were here tonight, he would have a long list of people to thank that helped inspire him and equip him to be in the Hall of Fame. Family, friends, mentors, the Lakers, teammates, muses and opponents. This is one of the hard parts of not having him here. At the risk of leaving anyone out, I can only say thank you. To all those who helped him get here, you know who you are and I thank you on his behalf,” Vanessa said as the audience broke out in applause.
Kobe is technically part of the 2020 Class of Inductees, but the ceremony was postponed from last summer because of the pandemic.
Just recently, Vanessa shared an emotional tribute to late daughter Gigi on what would have been her 15th birthday.
FYI: Vanessa, Bianka, and Capri are all wearing Dolce & Gabbana.