On This Day: May 15, 2021 - Kobe Inducted into Hall of Fame

- 5x NBA champion.
- 2x NBA Finals MVP.
- 18x NBA All-Star.
- 4x NBA All-Star Game MVP.
- All time Girl Dad.

Listed above are many accolades for several NBA Hall of Famers. These accolades in particular represent one of, if not the greatest player to don a Los Angeles Lakers uniform. None other than the Black Mamba himself, Kobe Bean Bryant.

Originally selected 13th overall by the Charlotte Hornets in the 1996 NBA Draft, Bryant was traded to the Lakers on July 11, 1996, in exchange for center Vlade Divac. It didn’t take long for Kobe to make himself known representing the Purple and Gold.

As a rookie, Bryant won the 1997 Slam Dunk Contest and is still the only Laker to ever win the award in the contest’s history.

Combined with the versatile talent of Shaquille O’Neal, the dynamic duo led the Lake Show to three-straight NBA titles in the early 2000s. Kobe led the NBA in scoring in back-to-back seasons (2005-06 & 2006-07) and scored a career-high 81 points on Jan. 22, 2006 (second-most points scored by one player in NBA history).

Following three seasons of falling short in the playoffs, Kobe & Co. would return to high glory with back-to-back title wins over the Orlando Magic (2009) and Boston Celtics (2010).

Bryant would close out his career during the 2015-16 season and in pure Kobe fashion, the Black Mamba went out in style. On April 13, 2016, Bryant scored a season-high 60 points and outscored the entire Utah Jazz team 23-21 in the fourth quarter.

At 37 years and 234 days old, Bryant became the oldest player in NBA history to score 60-plus points in a game.

Following his retirement, Kobe had both his No. 8 and 24 jerseys retired by the team in Dec. 2017 (only Laker with two retired jerseys). At the 90th Academy Awards in 2018, Bryant went on to win an Oscar for Best Animated Short Film, Dear Basketball.

Kobe became the first African American to win an Oscar for Best Animated Short Film and the first former professional athlete to be nominated and to win an Academy Award in any category.

In his first year of Hall of Fame eligibility, Bryant was named a finalist for the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame and was elected in April 2020, just months following his tragic death.

On May 15, 2021, Bryant was posthumously inducted into the Basketball Hall of Fame. His wife, Vanessa, accepted the induction in Kobe’s honor, alongside Michael Jordan, a player Kobe admired his whole life.

“There will never be anyone like Kobe,” Vanessa said in her speech. “Kobe was one of a kind. He was special. He was humble (off the court). But bigger than life. He never forgot about his fans. If he could help it, he would play every minute of every game. He loved you all so much.”