Kobe Bryant was on his way to the Basketball Hall of Fame well before his unexpected death. While the world still mourns one of the best basketball players ever, his enshrinement is still not complete. While others are introduced, it’s normally the inductees who get to give their acceptance speech. The world was robbed of what Kobe had to say.
Much like Michael Jordan before him, Kobe’s speech was going to be well worth the wait. But now, with circumstance changed, the Hall of Fame must decide who will not only introduce Kobe Bryant but who will give the speech? There’s no doubt that honor should go to his wife Vanessa Bryant, but who will introduce her?
If they were to look at former players or coaches throughout his life, there is only one name that stands taller than the rest. Shaquille O’Neal is a top finalist as well as Phil Jackson but it’s Derek Fisher who should be given the opportunity. Name one player who has been there with Kobe through the ups and downs. Name one player who has as many rings as Kobe, and only with Kobe. While Jackson was there as the coach, it was Fisher who actually reeled Kobe in when he went off the reservation. Without Fisher, Kobe won no rings. With Fisher, he took home five.
When Fisher left the Los Angeles Lakers, Kobe thrived but he didn’t win. Fisher returned and the winning resumed. Yes, there was Pau Gasol and Lamar Odom right beside him but Fisher was the catalyst of those championship teams. He and Kobe’s friendship is often ignored for the bigger names but friends they were. They came in the league together, lost together, and won together. He was indeed Kobe’s best friend in the NBA. So, aside from his wife Vanessa, it should be Fisher who introduces Kobe Bryant into the Basketball Hall of Fame.