Image by Kobe Bryant, Uncasville, Connecticut (AP Photo / Kathy Willens)

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May 16, 2021Kobe Bryant, the icon of the Los Angeles Lakers who died 16 months ago in a helicopter crash, was 'welcomed' with a ceremony in the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame, part of the 2020 class group, which also includes Tim Duncan and Kevin Garnett.   

Vanessa Bryant, the wife of the basketball champion who died with her 13-year-old daughter Gianna and seven other people in the crash of the plane in Southern California, took the stage supported by legend Michael Jordan, giving a moving speech in which she described love of Kobe for basketball, for his family, for his teammates and for his fans.

It was the final act in a series of two-day celebrations at the Mohegan Sun Resort and Casino in Uncasville, Connecticut, starring Vanessa Bryant and Kobe's eldest daughter, Natalia.   

Among the NBA greats introduced last night in the Hall of Fame, also the San Antonio Spurs star Duncan, the Minnesota Timberwolves and the Boston Celtics 'big man' Garnett.