Vanessa Bryant says Hall of Fame election is ‘peak’ of Kobe’s career

Kobe Bryant was with Gianna, Vanessa, Bianka, and Natalia when his number was retired in December 2017. Prensa Internacional/Icon Sportswire

Apr 4, 2020

By: ESPN Staff

Kobe Bryant‘s wife, Vanessa, said Saturday that his election to the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame was the “peak of his NBA career.”

Speaking to ESPN’s Rece Davis via FaceTime with her daughter Natalia by her side, Vanessa Bryant said, “It’s an incredible accomplishment and honor, and we’re extremely proud of him.

“Every accomplishment that he had as an athlete was a steppingstone to be here,” she added.

Kobe Bryant and his 13-year-old daughter, Gianna, were among nine people killed in a helicopter crash in Calabasas, California, on Jan. 26 as they were flying to a basketball tournament where Gianna was to play.

“Obviously we wish that he was here with us to celebrate,” Vanessa said Saturday. “We’re incredibly proud of him. And there’s some solace in knowing that he was probably going to be a part of the 2020 Hall of Fame class.”

Vanessa and Kobe Bryant were married for 19 years. They had four daughters: Natalia is 17, Bianka is 3, and Capri is 9 months.

Bryant, a Los Angeles Lakers legend, was 41 and in his first year of eligibility for the Hall of Fame.