After emulating his idol’s game, instincts and competitive behaviors during his 20-year career in the NBA, Kobe Bryant definitely wanted Michael Jordan As a presenter for inductance into the Basketball Hall of Fame at Naismith Memorial.
It’s still inspiring considering Jordan spoke eloquently in Bryant’s memory last year about their relationship. It’s also still bittersweet because Bryant won’t be around to present as Hall-of-Famer’s first ballot on Saturday after He died nearly 16 months ago in a helicopter crash with his 13-year-old daughter (Gianna) and seven others..
Bryant’s widow, Vanessa, will definitely be addressing these topics when she speaks on behalf of her husband. distance He delivers a powerful speech at the Kobe memorialExpect to compliment Vanessa Kobe equally emotional during his Hall of Fame induction posthumously. still, Bryant’s inability to speak at his Hall of Fame is one of many unfortunate facts since his tragedy..
Those who knew Bryant well believed his Hall of Fame speech would be as unique as his performance on the court. Although he admired Jordan for the way he played basketball, and sought to gain any competitive advantage and maximize his business profits, Bryant did not want to be like Mike in his Hall of Fame speech. For all the endless comparisons of whether Jordan or Bryant ended a better career in the NBA, Bryant’s Hall of Fame speech was much more sublime and classy than Jordan’s.
“When MJ said his speech, it was as if he still had an ax to grind some people. Ex-Lakers goalkeeper Brian Shaw told USA TODAY Sports.” I think it could have been more in terms of making his message something that everyone could improve at Light of the current situation. “
Kobe speech versus MG speech
For nearly 12 years, Jordan has spent the majority of his 23-minute Hall of Fame speech reworking real and imagined insults with opponents and the Bulls front office. Although he thanked his family, former coaches, and teammates, Jordan devoted more time to voicing his old grievances.
Jordan picked Leroy Smith, the man he picked up on the high school basketball team. Jordan questioned Bulls owner Jerry Reinsdorf for imposing subtle restrictions on him due to a foot injury early in his NBA career. Jordan criticized former Bulls general manager Jerry Krause for suggesting that organizations play a greater role in winning the NBA title than players do.
Jordan Club Magic JohnsonAnd Isiah Thomas and George Gervin due to an alleged NBA All-Star freeze during the junior season. Jordan mocked former New York Knicks coach Jeff Van Gondy for calling him a “fraud” and arguing that he befriends his opponents so that he can reduce their competitive edge. Jordan blamed former Utah Jazz keeper Byron Russell for believing he could defend him in the 1998 NBA Finals.
In Bryant’s case? During the final years of his NBA career and the four years of his post-retirement life, Bryant seemed so relaxed that he was unable to settle scores. Become more focused on Ensuring a successful second job in his life From staying stuck in the first’s accomplishments and shortcomings.
“It would have been a very honest conversation,” says Clippers CEO and former Lakers general manager. Jerry West She told USA TODAY Sports. “He would be very humble in his speech. He would talk about his experiences in his life, the people he respected and admired.”
Make no mistake, Bryant had never gone vanilla after sharing his unfiltered views, cynicism, and quick wit during his NBA career.
Bryant could have dealt with criticism over the large shooting and demanded leadership style. He would have experienced the confrontations between him and his coaches and some of his colleagues. He would have reflected on his business claims in 2007 after he became skeptical of the Lakers’ direction. He would have revisited some of the competitive rivalries he had with her Kevin Garnett And the Tim Duncan, And both are also part of the 2020 Hall of Fame category.
Sure enough, Bryant had to throw a drill or two in Shaquille O’Neal After the duo spent just as much energy squabbling over roles as they did winning three NBA championships together. Keep in mind that after winning their fifth NBA title after the 2010 Finals, Bryant indicated that he then had more championship rings than O’Neill.
“We wouldn’t be able to joke at his Hall of Fame party. He wouldn’t be able to say,” Haha, you’ve got five, you’ve got four, “O’Neill said on TNT shortly after Bryant’s death. To say, “If we stayed together, we could have got 10. These are the things you can’t take back.”
However, Bryant was looking back at those moments to show how he triumphed over the conflict rather than consuming it.
Bryant would have provided some challenge, context, and possibly editorial history to defend his behavior. He would have said that those moments of struggle stemmed from his mere desire to win. Bryant was explaining how his work ethic, love of the game and the pursuit of self-improvement led to a successful career in the NBA that ended with five rings, two US Olympic golds, and his fourth place on the league’s top scorer list. (33,643 points).
“It was a great moment to talk about his journey,” said Greg Downer, Bryant’s coach. Lower Merrion High School outside of Philadelphia, For USA TODAY Sports. He was going to talk about how I love the Lakers and how I like the ‘no shortcut’ and ‘no excuse’ mentality.
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Bryant was explaining how that mindset shaped him at various focal points.
He would have thought of loving the game when he was a little kid in Italy. He would share what he learned from his father (Joe) and uncle (Chubby Cox), both of whom played professionally.
He would have detailed how he led Lower Merion to the first state championship in 53 years. He would explain his conviction to make the jump to the NBA after graduating from high school.
He was going to explain how he learned to win NBA titles with and without O’Neal. He would have revived his 81-point career, as well as his Olympic performance.
He would have appreciated his extrapolation on how he played through countless illnesses and how he returned from season three end injuries at the end of his career. He would have reworked his 60-point performance in his final match.
“He looked back and thanked a lot of people – those who might have felt along the way so many times that they were underappreciated,” Gary Fete, former Lakers’ chief sports coach, told USA TODAY Sports. “He was very competitive. He was just as happy as his last game. But even when that match ended, he moved on to the next thing. For most of his career, it wasn’t all about trying to tell people that you did a good job. Towards the end, it was much better. Regarding that. “
Therefore, Bryant had expressed his gratitude with the same frequency of his shots.
He would have thanked Downer for his motivational tactics. He would have thanked West and the late Lakers owner Jerry Boss for believing in his potential. He would have thanked former Lakers coach Phil Jackson for his teachings. He would have thanked O’Neal, Pau Gasol and a bunch of other teammates for helping him win NBA titles in two different eras.
He would have thanked Viti for helping him with his injuries. He would have thanked Lakers Governor Jenny Boss and General Manager Rob Belinka For their loyalty. Of course, he would have thanked Jordan for his guidance and he would have thanked Vanessa for her support.
However, Bryant wasn’t going to quarrel with his speech. Become an influential storyteller enough to win an Oscar for his basketball short film (“Dear Basketball”), in which he oversaw a children’s book company (Granite) And producing a children’s podcast (“Punies”). He would have relied on his high school teacher (Gene Mastriano) and the published authors he’d worked with to keep his speech focused and concise. Therefore, Bryant will have enough time to discuss matters beyond his NBA career.
“The temptation is for people to talk about him being such a warrior. But I think in his acceptance speech, I’m not sure he’s going to focus on that,” General Manager Charlotte Hornets and former Lakers general manager Mitch Kupchak told USA TODAY Sports. “I have a feeling he’s going to focus on what he’s been doing lately.”
After all, John El Doliva, president of the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame, told USA TODAY Sports that Vanessa had agreed to Bryant’s Hall of Fame to showcase elements in his career in the Lakers and the so-called “Mamba Mentality” that he preached and out The stadium.
So, Bryant had shown how the current NBA stars have trained for his squad Mamba Sports Academy. He would have gushed about coaching Gianna and her teammates on the AAU girls’ basketball team. He would share how his projects will help tell stories the next generation of athletes.
“It’s really about making an impact and continuing to develop the game,” former WNBA player Tamika Catchings She told USA TODAY Sports. “I think he wasn’t going to just talk about increasing the game for the men’s team. But he was going to put a push there for the” W. “He was talking about watching Gigi and her friends play, and the opportunities for building and growing basketball in general.”
In the midst of a challenging year as the pandemic and racial conflict continued, Bryant had also become another former athlete more willing to tackle issues of social justice.
“It would have been very calculated.” “I think his message was to help the country heal,” Shaw said. “He was someone who felt comfortable being uncomfortable. So I think it would have been remembered. “
Once Bryant’s speech ended, the public had not just learned about his Hall of Fame basketball career. They had realized that Bryant had indeed become a Hall of Fame narrator.