The 2020 Naismith Hall of Fame inductees were announced today and it’s going to be bittersweet for everyone involved as Kobe Bryant will undoubtedly be inducted posthumously as part of a class that’s considered to be the most iconic in basketball history.
Welcome to the Hall of Fame ?
Kobe Bryant, Kevin Garnett and Tim Duncan headline the 2020 Class. pic.twitter.com/PDuQL9qkYP
— ESPN (@espn) April 4, 2020
There’s also legendary college coach Eddie Sutton, WNBA legend Tamika Catchings, iconic women’s coach and cursader Kim Mulkey, Barbara Stevens and Houston Rockets Championship coach Rudy Tomjanovich.
All of the inductees are worthy contributors to the sport of hoops, but the cream of this class is Kobe and it was supposed to be all about the 19-time All-Star, 5-ring king and two-time Finals MVP.
Everything changed on January 26, 2020 when Kobe passed away. Since that devastating day, there’s been so much opinion, emotions, fake love, and fabricated hate as people have fed off of Kobe’s memory in their own way.
The celebration of Kobe’s legacy continued this weekend and will hit an emotional high at today’s NBA All-Star Game 2020.
My man Champ Guru — who always speaks the real when it comes to hoops — brought up something that everyone should be wondering about as Kobe’s induction gets closer.
Who’s going to Induct Kobe and speak on his behalf?
“We always talk about how a lot of Black kids don’t come from structure. Well, Kobe came from structure.
His dad, Jo Bryant was an NBA lottery pick. Joe and his wife Pam had three kids. We now can process how dedicated and devoted to success Kobe was in every aspect of life. But where did Kobe get this structure from? How did he learn? How did he become so dedicated to incredible feats on and off the basketball court such as speaking six different languages, scoring 81 points in a game or winning an Oscar?
For him to accomplish what he did, had to come from something. That unprecedented greatness had to be cultivated by someone.
That’s why the person who should give the speech and talk about the great Kobe Bryant, shouldn’t be anybody except his father Joe Bryant.
His father can tell the story better than Stephen A. Smith, better than Shaquille O’Neal, better than Jerry West. Better than Michael Jordan. Better than Magic Johnson. Better than Derek Fisher. Better than LeBron James
I’ve been thinking and processing and listening to everyone give a tribute to Kobe. I’m listening to tributes done by Stephen A. Smith about his relationship with Kobe.
Shaquille O’Neal keeping it real about Kobe’s relationship with him.
Listening to West talk about how Kobe stayed with him when he first got to the NBA and how his sons and Kobe were close.
Phil Jackson oversaw all five of Kobe’s NBA championships, so maybe he will speak.
All these people and other media members — some who have been criticizing Kobe for years — are now talking about how great of a person he was.
It’s so much deeper than that. His life doesn’t start in the NBA and his influence doesn’t end on the basketball court.”
Capturing The True Essence of Kobe Bryant
With Kobe’s induction looming, everybody’s gonna talk about how they should do it right for Kobe. Jerry Colangelo said they are going to do right by Kobe.
“Well if the Naismith induction committee wants to get it right then it needs to pass the baton to Jelly Bean and let that man speak on behalf of his son…HIS SON !
Not Jerry West’s son. Not Magic’s little brother. Not Michael Jordan’s little brother Not the idol of Lebron James. “Jelly Bean” Bryant, the father of the great Kobe Byrant should be the one to induct Kobe into the Hall of Fame.
Think about Beyonce Knowles and the sacrifice that Mathew Knowles made for Beyonce. Think about Joe Jackson and what he sacrificed for the Jackson Five and Micheal Jackson.
Think about Archie with Peyton and Eli.
Nobody knows the child better than the father or mother. Kobe was bred by Joe Bryant, who’s never been able to tell his story about his son. His son went to the NBA out of HS because Joe Bryant signed off on it.
The Root of Kobe’s Legacy
If we really wanna give the respect Kobe truly deserves, then we have to put his life in proper perspective. Not a media perspective but an authentic one.
Starting from him being a kid with all this hype and how he challenged David Stern, the NBA, and all the general managers and said “I’m ready” to go to the NBA.
If you go back to the tape of when he got drafted and listen to Craig Sager’s interview, Kobe said when he looked back 20 years from now, “I want to see if I could accept the challenge.”
It was nothing more than a challenge for Kobe Bryant to be a 17-year-old who passed the test and still didn’t go to Duke, Kentucky, or North Carolina. The NBA did not want him to do it. They were OK with a 7-1 Kevin Garnett. They were not OK with a 6-6, 195-pound guard doing it.
They didn’t want him in the league and the media and everybody else could not accept this kid being this good and this brash.
The fans knew he was NBA gold before the media knew it. The fans voted Kobe Bryant in the All-Star Game when he was a sixth man playing less than 20 minutes a game. There has never been a player in NBA history to command the attention of the fans like Kobe.”
It’s never been done.
He paved the way for LeBron James to get $90 million from Nike because Kobe made it OK to be a guard and come straight outta high school. He made it OK for GM’s to give a rookie that never played college basketball 20 shots a game.
Kobe is without question the greatest player ever in terms of pure basketball. His work ethic, his tenacity, his approach to the game and how he worked on the game is second to none.
MJ may have been more gifted on the court. Obviously, Kevin Durant is the walking cheat code, a seven-foot player from 2K. But when you talk about the embodiment of a basketball player and who 20 or 30 years from now will be considered the standard for competitive greatness…it will be Kobe Bryant.
And Joe Bryant knows “The Legend Of Kobe Bryant” better than anybody.