Vanessa Bryant and Her Daughters Revisit Kobe's Legacy Ahead of Hall of Fame Induction Ceremony

Vanessa Bryant reflected on Kobe Bryant's long-lasting impact on the world of basketball as his induction into the Hall of Fame approaches.

By Cydney Contreras May 14, 2021 11:21 PMTags
Watch: Vanessa Bryant Remembers Kobe & Gianna With Friend's Letter

Vanessa Bryant is looking back on husband Kobe Bryant's illustrious career as the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame prepares to posthumously induct him.

Vanessa and two of their three surviving daughters, Bianka, 4, and Capri, 23 months, visited a special exhibit honoring the Lakers star on Friday, May 14. According to ESPN, the exhibit, located in Springfield, Mass., was largely designed by Vanessa, who worked with other companies to bring her vision together.

John Doleva, the president and CEO of the Hall of Fame, said in a press conference on Friday, "The family had a time to think about what they wanted to do... [It's] about Kobe's accomplishments but also about what Kobe was after he left the Lakers, after he left basketball."

Additionally, Marc J. Spears of The Undefeated read a statement on Vanessa's behalf. She wrote, "Kobe is honored to be inducted into the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame. I look forward to celebrating Kobe's legacy and offering my remarks at the enshrinement ceremony tomorrow. On behalf of our family, we appreciate the continuous love and support from fans all over the world."

Kobe Bryant: Life in Photos

Michael Jordan is expected to present Kobe at the actual ceremony, while Vanessa will accept the honor on her late husband's behalf. 

Though Vanessa declined the opportunity to answer questions alongside other inductees, including Kevin Garnett, she shared a glimpse of the exhibit as she and her daughters toured it for the first time. 

To see photos from their bittersweet visit, continue scrolling.

A Special Gift

Vanessa Bryant puts on her late husband's new Baskeball Hall of Fame jacket on Natalia Bryant after they are presented with it at the Tip-Off Celebration and Awards Gala, a day before his 2020 induction.

Eternal Love

"Love you always," Vanessa Bryant captioned an intimate moment shared to Instagram. This portrait of Kobe Bryant is one of many tributes seen in the NBA icon's exhibit at the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame in Springfield, Mass. 

Daddy's Little Girl

Dressed in a Mambacita outfit inspired by late sister Gianna Bryant, 23-month-old Capri Bryant poses next to the Los Angeles Laker, who died in a January 2020 helicopter crash that also killed eight others.

Mamba Mentality

Hall of Fame president and chief executive John Doleva told the Los Angeles Times that Vanessa played a role in contributing to the design of the exhibit.

"It's like you're immersing yourself in Kobe's life, but there is this feeling of the future about Kobe," he explained. "It makes you contemplate what could have been."

Proud Daughter

"Bianka at Daddy's Hall Of Fame exhibit," Vanessa wrote alongside a photo of the 4 year old checking out memorabilia from her dad's historic career.

No. 8

Kobe's five championship rings from his 20-year career with the Lakers are on display at the exhibit, which opens Sunday, May 16. 

His Legacy Lives On

Visitors will also be able to watch Kobe's Oscar-winning animated short film, "Dear Basketball." As hall of fame historian Matt Zeysing described to the L.A. Times, "Vanessa really wanted the space partly to be reflective, and so ‘Dear Basketball' brings that part in. She wanted a space for if someone wanted to just reflect for longer than even 30 minutes that they would have the opportunity to do that."