Vanessa Bryant is ''incredibly proud'' of her late husband Kobe Bryant, after he was inducted into the Basketball Hall of Fame.

The NBA legend tragically passed away in January at the age of 41 when his private helicopter crashed in Calabasas, California - killing him and eight other people, including his 13-year-old daughter Gianna - but Vanessa has shared her thoughts on the recent honour bestowed on Kobe.

Speaking on ESPN, she said: ''It's an incredible accomplishment and honour and we're extremely proud of him. Obviously we wish that he was here with us to celebrate but it's definitely the peak of his NBA career. Every accomplishment that he had as an athlete was a stepping stone to be here. We're incredibly proud of him. There's some solace in knowing that he was probably going to be a part of the 2020 Hall of Fame class.''

Kobe was originally in talks to be posthumously inducted into the Hall of Fame following his passing in January, but the decision was not finalised until the list of potential inductees had been screened.

Prior to the screening process, Chairman Jerry Colangelo said there was ''no doubt'' in his mind that Kobe would make into the Hall of Fame.

He said: ''Ironically, I have a meeting in Dallas on Wednesday with the committee to go through the candidates. Obviously, the result of whatever names come out of that, he was going to be a first-ballot guy. There's no doubt in my mind. He's going to be honoured. He's going in the Hall of Fame.''

Since retiring from professional basketball in 2016, this year marks Kobe's first year of eligibility for the Hall of Fame.

Kobe spent his entire professional 20-year career with the Lakers, and is a five-time NBA champion, two-time NBA Finals MVP and 18-time All-Star, league MVP.