Kobe Bryant’s Hall of Fame speech would not have been like Michael Jordan’s

After emulating his idol’s game, competitive instincts and mannerisms during his 20-year NBA career, Kobe Bryant surely would have wanted Michael Jordan as his presenter for his induction into the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame.

It remains inspiring considering Jordan spoke so eloquently at Bryant’s memorial last year about their relationship. It also remains bittersweet since Bryant won’t be there for his induction as a first-ballot Hall-of-Famer on Saturday after dying nearly 16 months ago in a helicopter crash with his 13-year-old daughter (Gianna) and seven others.

Bryant’s widow, Vanessa, surely will address these themes when she talks on her husband’s behalf. After delivering a powerful speech at Kobe’s memorial, expect Vanessa to eulogize Kobe just as poignantly during his posthumous Hall-of-Fame induction. Still, Bryant’s inability to speak at his own Hall-of-Fame ceremony represents one of the many unfortunate realities since his tragedy.

Kobe Bryant wanted to be like Michael Jordan in many ways on the court. But those who knew him well said he would have had a much different Hall of Fame speech.

Those that knew Bryant well believed his Hall of Fame speech would have been as unique as his on-court performances. And though he admired Jordan for how he played basketball, sought any competitive edge and maximized his business earnings, Bryant would not have wanted to be like Mike with his Hall of Fame speech. For all the endless comparisons on whether Jordan or Bryant finished with a better NBA career, Bryant’s Hall-of-Fame speech would have been more uplifting and classier than Jordan’s.