Fans pay respects during first full day at Basketball Hall of Fame since Kobe Bryant’s death

Hampden County

SPRINGFIELD, Mass. (WWLP)- As we get closer to Kobe Bryant’s expected Hall of Fame enshrinement in August, a lot of focus will be put on the Hall of Fame and how they will be remembering the player known as the Black Mamba.

A memorial for Kobe Bryant stands front and center in the lobby of The Basketball Hall of Fame where many fans came to pay their respects to the Black Mamba Wednesday morning.

The memorial features a picture of Kobe with Shaq and his former coach Phil Jackson pictured with one of five championships Kobe won throughout his career.

There is also a basketball that has Kobe’s and his daughter Gianna’s number side by side.

Despite rooting for a team that was one of Kobe’s rivals, one fan said he always had respect for Bryant.

“You always respect him, he’s one of the best to ever do it. When he played the Celtics…I wanted the Celtics to win every single time but you can’t not say he’s one of the greatest to ever play.”

– Dan Sparano, Connecticut resident.

Kobe was one of the most elite to ever play in the NBA, but once he retired and started spending more time around his daughters he started spending more time focusing on equality in the game of basketball.

One man who played professional basketball in Europe said Kobe always believed basketball had no borders.

“It didn’t matter gender, skin color, ethnicity or anything like that. He wanted to give back and you could see that after he was done playing. He was a fierce competitor and would do anything to win but after he retired he was all about giving back and helping people learn from his example,” Jack Lothian said.

Bryant is scheduled to be enshrined in the Hall of Fame during the last weekend of August.

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