During an emotional speech on Saturday night celebrating Kobe Bryant’s induction into the Hall of Fame, Vanessa Bryant made a strong statement regarding his parents.
“My husband and I were sitting at our kitchen island, and he and I had a conversation about my father and mother-in-law attending tonight’s enshrinement,” she said.
“I invited my mother and father-in-law to tonight’s enshrinement to thank them for bringing one of the most amazing human beings into this world. Pam and Joe, thank you for raising Kobe to be exceptional. Thank you to all of Kobe’s family. Sharia, you’ve gone above and beyond. I love you.”
Unfortunately, controversy has arisen over that particular statement.
According to The Jasmine Brand, Kobe’s family was not invited and was “disrespected” in the lead-up to the ceremony.
Anansa Sims, who is allegedly “best friends” with Kobe’s sister Shaya, started things off by posting this message to Instagram.
Shortly thereafter Sims then went on to claim that Kobe’s family was mistreated in the lead-up to the Hall of Fame induction ceremony.
“They were asked by a 3rd party from The Hall of Fame if they wanted to purchase tickets to the HOF. Purchase. It was made clear that tickets, flights and hotel accommodations wouldn’t be taken care of.”
She didn’t stop there.
“His parent didn’t just choose not to go to the HOF. His parents were totally disrespected at his memorial. They weren’t personally invited to the HOF,” she wrote in another comment.
Sims then followed up with a direct response to Vanessa’s claims.
“I believe they would have purchased the tickets they were offered had they known he said they wanted them there.”
And there was more.
“If they would’ve known that prior to hearing it in the HOF speech last night, I believe with all my heart that they would’ve attended. And I believe it would’ve brought them so much comfort to know that, that’s what was in their Sons [sic] heart and mind.”
That’s one way to watch a game. https://t.co/rlfZSR4DDe
— Game 7 (@game7__) May 13, 2021
It’s sad that Kobe’s memory is being tarnished in this way, regardless of what the truth is. Everyone knows he and Vanessa had a complicated relationship with his parents, but for it to come out in this fashion, at a time that was supposed to be dedicated to celebrating him, is a bad look for all parties involved.
This past week has been filled with loving tributes to Kobe. From Pau Gasol talking about the two sides of his personality, to Gary Payton describing why he irked veterans so much, to Michael Jordan sharing his last text message exchange with the beloved Los Angeles Lakers star – it has been a week full of positivity and love.
Hopefully things can return to that and everyone can move on from this petty drama.
Charles Kruger has been credentialed to cover two Super Bowls, four NBA Finals, and one World Series. A 20-year veteran in the sports world, he has sources spanning the NBA, MLB, NFL, UFC and NASCAR. Currently residing in Los Angeles, Calif., he is Game 7’s go-to source for rumors surrounding the Lakers, Clippers and Dodgers.