Magic Johnson, Julius Randle, and Others React to Kobe Bryant Hall of Fame Induction

Published 05/15/2021, 10:14 PM EDT
NEWBURY PARK, CA – MARCH 28: SiriusXM Presents A Town Hall With NBA Legend Kobe Bryant at the Mamba Sports Academy on March 28, 2019 in Newbury Park, California. (Photo by Vivien Killilea/Getty Images for SiriusXM)


The crowd was cheering, “Kobe Kobe Kobe…” and his wife was trying her best to hold those tears. Michael Jordan was standing right behind Vanessa, perhaps giving his top shot at putting up a brave face himself. That was how Kobe Bryant, most probably sharing the same stage as a proud spirit, received the greatest honor in the world of sports.

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The Hall of Fame class of 2021 went down in the history of the NBA as the greatest ever, and there’s no doubting that. While each name on the card was special, it was the moment Kobe’s name got introduced that sent a flurry of emotions in the crowd. No one could believe that the Lakers’ legend passed away at least a couple of years too soon to accept the honor.

Shaquille O’Neal shares a laugh with Kobe Bryant at the Arrowhead Pond of Anaheim Thursday, October 23, 2003. (Photo by Allen J. Schaben/Los Angeles Times via Getty Images)

NBA greats reacted to the ultimate glory of Kobe Bryant

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Millions of eyes awaited the moment when Michael Jordan would bless the stage and call out Kobe’s name for the HoF induction. Just as that happened and his wife Vanessa Bryant thanked Black Mamba’s haters for giving him a kick, the NBA players from every corner started reacting on Twitter.

Jamal Crawford, Patrick Ewing, and Julius Randle were among some of the most notable names that paid their respect. Mamba’s former teammate Matt Barnes wrote, “from the first time I saw you workout my freshman year after our UCLA practice… There was never a doubt of IF, it was a matter of WHEN…!!” Also, Lakers’ great Magic Johnson extended a thread of tweets to mark his tribute and thankfulness towards Kobe Bryant. Take a look –

The legacy of this 5x NBA Champion is immortal, and the reactions from his HoF enshrinement proved it well. 

Read AlsoSteph Curry Emotionally Reacts to Kobe Bryant Receiving the Posthumous Hall of Fame Honor

What did the world lose in the Lakers legend’s absence?

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No one imagined even in their wildest dreams that Kobe Bryant will not be present to make his HoF speech. Kobe, a gifted storyteller, won the Oscar award for Dear Basketball, which used his poem as the background score. After his retirement, he contacted the likes of JK Rowling to seek advice on writing and revealed on multiple occasions how much he valued stories.

Now, imagine one such man spending a good half an hour on the mic to detail his basketball journey. He must’ve given the greatest HoF speech ever, still receiving the honor from his idol cum big brother Michael Jordan. One can only picture in their mind or photoshop the image of the two hugging each other in tears as Vanessa, Gigi, and Natalia would stand close. 

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It was Vanessa who held her tears back, but everyone listening to her speech cried. Such is the power that Kobe Bryant held within him.

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Sourabh Singh

1604 articles

Sourabh Singh is an NBA sports analyst for EssentiallySports, who has been working with the site since May 2020. Prior to this, he functioned as Managing Editor at WittyFeed, followed by a stint at Decathlon. The Sports Management graduate leads an active lifestyle, veering to the mountains for off-trail adventures.

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