Kobe Bryant’s wife, Vanessa Laine Bryant, is half-Mexican and Kobe would often do full interviews in Spanish.
In a brief yet emotional interview Saturday, Vanessa Bryant and her eldest daughter, Natalia, appeared on ESPN shortly after the announcement that Kobe Bryant had been elected to the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame.
“It's an incredible accomplishment and honor,” Vanessa Bryant said. “And we're extremely proud of him. Obviously, we wish that he was here with us to celebrate.”
Vanessa Bryant called the induction “the peak of (Bryant's) NBA career.”
“Every accomplishment he had as an athlete was a stepping stone to be here,” she said. “So we’re incredibly proud of him. And there’s some solace knowing that he was probably going to be part of the 2020 Hall of Fame class.”
Kobe Bryant died in a helicopter crash on Jan. 26 that took the lives of all eight other passengers, including Kobe and Vanessa's daughter Gianna. Both were publicly memorialized at the Staples Center on Feb. 24.
Joining Kobe Bryant in this year's Hall of Fame class are Tim Duncan, Kevin Garnett, former NBA coach Rudy Tomjanovich, former WNBA star Tamika Catchings, Baylor women’s basketball coach Kim Mulkey, former Division II women’s coach Barbara Stevens, former Division I men’s coach Eddie Sutton and former FIBA executive Patrick Baumann.