Kobe Bryant was inducted into the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame on Saturday in a very touching ceremony. His induction closed the night, with his wife Vanessa Bryant and Michael Jordan taking the stage to remember the Black Mamba and his legacy on and off the court.
Vanessa showed her strength while talking about Kobe, all the things he did during his 20-year NBA tenure, and the great man he was with her and her daughters. As Kevin Garnett did with Isiah Thomas and Tim Duncan did with David Robinson, Vanessa thanked Michael Jordan on behalf of her husband, telling MJ that Kobe looked up to him (0:48).
"Last February, I called Michael and asked if he would introduce Kobe tonight and he graciously accepted. Thank you for being here, Michael. Kobe admired you, this means so much to us," Vanessa told Jordan.
If that wasn't enough, Bryant took a page of MJ's book and somehow referenced his 'took it personally meme' during her speech. As she said, Kobe would love to say thank you to haters, and she didn't miss.
“Kobe would thank all of you people who helped him get here, including the people that doubted him. After all, he proved you wrong," she said while Jordan smiled.
It's not a secret that Kobe was a huge admirer of Jordan. He always looked up to the Chicago Bulls legend, and even though he claimed he'd 'kick Jordan's a**' the first time they talked, the respect between them was huge.
Talking with ESPN, Jordan admitted he was happy to induct Kobe to the HOF, revealing how high he was on Kobe and everything he did on the court.
"I told her, 'Look, I know this is a tough time. I'm always here if you need me,' " Jordan said. "She answered back, 'I would love it if you stood up for Kobe at the Hall of Fame.'"
"It's going to be a great honor, to be honest. It's like standing up for a family member," he continued. "[Bryant] paid me the highest respect by trying to emulate certain things I did. And I can only repay that by showing my support and admiration for a guy who I felt was one of the greatest to ever play the game."
It was a great night, considering how hard it was to see Vanessa going up there and talk for her late husband. Kobe left a big mark on the world, and that will never be erased. His wife, family, friends and the millions of fans he has worldwide won't let that happen.