Opinion: Vanessa Bryant continues to show strength while honoring Kobe and Gianna Bryant’s legacy

As she fought through the pain, Vanessa Bryant continued to show strength.

Nearly 16 months have passed since her husband, former Los Angeles Lakers star Kobe Bryant, and 13-year-old-daughter, Gianna, both died in a helicopter crash. Within that timeframe, Vanessa Bryant gave two public speeches to commemorate her husband while processing her loss. She spoke for about 12 minutes and 30 seconds on Kobe’s behalf at his Hall of Fame induction on Saturday, nearly 15 months after doing the same at his memorial.

"I wish my husband was here to accept this incredible award," she said. "He and Gigi deserve to be here to witness this. Gigi would be so proud to watch her daddy get enshrined into the Basketball Hall of Fame."

Vanessa had shared that Kobe talked about his anticipated nomination as a first ballot Hall of Famer nearly a week before he was among the nine people that died in a helicopter crash on Jan. 26, 2020. But for a player who secured five NBA championships, two Olympic gold medals and a fourth-place standing on the league’s all-time scoring list partly because of his preparation, Kobe had not outlined what he planned to say when he expected to take center stage during his Hall of Fame induction.

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