Emotions to Soar as Kobe Bryant Inducted Into Basketball Hall of Fame

| Posted 6 months ago

One of – if not the – most emotional sports moments in 2021 takes place this weekend as the late Kobe Bryant will be enshrined in the Naismith Memorial Pro Basketball Hall of Fame.

Bryant, who tragically died in a helicopter crash in January 2020 along with his daughter Gianna, and seven others, will be presented by Michael Jordan. His widow, Vanessa, will also speak at the ceremony.

His Airness knows what the spotlight brings, obviously, and says he is up to this task.

“I was thinking, at first, I might be a little somewhat nervous about it, but then I realized I’m not going to be nervous about showing emotions for someone I absolutely loved,” Jordan said. “That’s the humanistic side of me. People tend to forget I do have one.”

A quick recap of Bryant’s amazing NBA career: Five-time NBA champion, two-time Finals MVP, 18-time NBA All-Star, 11-time All-NBA First Team, the 2008 NBA MVP, nine-time NBA All-Defensive First Team member, he is fourth on the NBA All-Time scoring list, plus Bryant earned two Olympic gold medals.

“He gave everything he had to the game of basketball. His fierce competitiveness, work ethic and drive were unmatched,” Lakers owner Jeanie Buss said last year when the announcement was made. “Those qualities helped Kobe lead us to five titles – and have now brought him to the Hall of Fame, where he will be enshrined with the greatest to have ever played the game. No one deserves it more.”

Bryant’s career and star began to rise during his high years near Philadelphia.

Bryant flourished at Lower Merion High School and Lelands Auctions has a prized jersey from that time on the block. Game, worn, no less.

The auction for Bryant's jersey started Sunday and will close June 4. Bids for the jersey can be submitted online: LINK

Per Lelands:

From promise to triumph to tragedy; this incredibly rare game worn jersey is from the early stages of the legendary life and career of Kobe Bryant, dating to his high school years at Lower Merion HS. Has rock-solid provenance as it was gifted to our consignor by a former NBA player, who worked with one of Kobe Bryant's earlier agents. This sparkling white jersey has DeLong size 48 tag on bottom front, with Lower Merion around the number on front; same number 33 on back, all in maroon lettering. Great use displayed with visible wear in neck and sleeves, this masterpiece has received a perfect A10 rating from MEARS, with letter included. The jersey also comes with a detailed LOA from the consignor and describes how he came to own the jersey. The consignor not only received the Kobe Bryant jersey directly from a former NBA player but also received game worn material from said NBA player's rookie year. Tributes continue to pour in celebrating the life of the Black Mamba, including renaming the NBA All-Star Game MVP award in his honor (rising superstar Giannis Antetokounmpo captured the first-such named award in 2021), and his delayed induction into the Hall of Fame is slated for May 15th of this year.

Lelands has a number of other Bryant items on its site: LINK

Another Laker great, Magic Johnson, recalled Bryant on the one-year anniversary of his death in January.

"Thank you God for allowing me to enjoy Kobe Bryant for 20 years as a great basketball player, athlete, husband, father, philanthropist, mentor and teacher of the game to many men and women of all ages, best friend to Rob Pelinka, and brother to Jeanie Buss. He will always be my Lakers brother for life. Laker Nation we will always remember the brilliance, the legend, and the mamba mentality of #8/#24

Those emotions, sentiments and far more will be felt at this weekend’s event in Connecticut,

The other inductees and their presenters:

· Patrick Baumann, presented by Russ Granik (2013), Vlade Divac (2019)

· Kobe Bryant, presented by Michael Jordan (2009)

· Tamika Catchings, presented by Alonzo Mourning (2014), Dawn Staley (2013)

· Tim Duncan, presented by David Robinson (2009)

· Kevin Garnett, presented by Isiah Thomas (2000)

· Kim Mulkey, presented by Michael Jordan (2009)

· Barbara Stevens, presented by Geno Auriemma (2006), Muffet McGraw (2017)

· Eddie Sutton, presented by John Calipari (2015), Bill Self (2017), Sidney Moncrief (2019)

· Rudy Tomjanovich, presented by Calvin Murphy (1993), Hakeem Olajuwon (2008)

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