On Saturday, Kobe Bryant and Kevin Garnett, and Tim Duncan will be inducted into the Basketball Hall of Fame. It will be one of the most decorated classes of all time; those three individuals have eleven championships, four MVPs, and four Finals MVPs amongst them.
While, this is a time for celebration; it is also a reminder that Kobe won’t be here to accept the award and give his own acceptance speech. Instead, it will be his childhood idol, Michael Jordan, and his wife Vanessa accepting it in his honor.
If you asked former NBA veteran Ryan Hollins, Jordan speaking for Kobe will be the most influential speech ever.
“It’s going to be the most influential Hall of Fame speech, we have ever seen. Two of the greatest players we have ever seen in Michael Jordan and Kobe Bryant. Michael will be speaking about him, and it will be a heartfelt moment. I feel like I can speak for everybody because I am not okay with Kobe and Gigi not being here. I’m not okay with it, and it doesn’t rest well in my soul; it hurts. It stings we are trying to look for closure, and we do not know how to honor him,” said Hollins.
“There is no perfect way to deal with this, but when you get close to Kobe, you find out how dope he is. When you think you know everything about someone, you find out how amazing a father, a player, and a teammate he was. He was the real deal on and off the court. I think [at] that moment will be the most influential Hall of Fame speech that we have ever seen. It is literally going to be history. Make sure you pull up and watch that one because that’s going to be gold.”
On Thursday, I spoke with Bryant’s 2008-10 Finals rival Doc Rivers to get his response to Hollins comments.
“Yeah, I’m not going to rate this the most influential speech ever. I think that’s one hell of a bar. But, it’s still sad that KB can’t get the award & give his own speech. I think for most of us that will be a reminder, not even with what Michael says. The fact that MJ is doing it is important. Whenever MJ speaks it seems important because doesn’t speak a lot. It will be an amazing weekend,” says Rivers.