On May 15, late NBA basketball hero Kobe Bryant was inducted into the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame. The ceremony took place at the Mohegan Sun Arena in Springfield, Mass. Kobe’s wife, Vanessa Bryant, accepted his award on his behalf.

Kobe’s wife, the backbone of the family, took the stage and delivered an amazing speech. You could hear the pain in her voice but also get a sense of delightfulness and joy that came with accepting her husband’s award. She says writing a speech in his absence made it all more difficult as she thanked everyone who has helped Kobe along the path of his success.

“I used to always avoid praising my husband in public because I felt like he got enough praise from his fans around the world and someone had to bring him back to reality,” she began. “Right now, I’m sure he’s laughing in heaven because I’m about to praise him in public for his accomplishments on one of the most public stages.”

“I can see him now,” Vanessa imagines. “Arms folded, with a huge grin saying ‘Isn’t this some sh*t.”

The audience busted out in laughter. Vanessa Bryant continued as, with Michael Jordan, Kobe’s favorite player standing off to the side.

“I wish my husband was here to accept this incredible award,” she admitted. “He and GiGi deserve to be here to witness this. GiGi would be so proud to watch her daddy get enshrined into the Basketball Hall of Fame. I know Kobe was really looking forward to being here,” her voice crackled. “When he first heard that he was being considered for the induction, Kobe planned to ask for an additional ticket for his youngest daughter, Capri.”

“I do know that he would thank everyone that helped him get here, including the people that doubted him and the people that worked against him and told him he couldn’t attain his goals,” she said. “He would thank all of them for motivating him to be here. After all, he proved you wrong.”

“Congratulations, Baby,” Vanessa concludes. “All of your hard work and sacrifice has paid off. You once told me, if you’re going to bet on someone, bet on yourself. I’m glad you bet on yourself. I’m glad you bet on yourself, you overachiever. You did it. You’re in the Hall of Fame now. You’re not just an MVP; you’re an all-time great.”