Pelinka argued that Bryant’s legacy reflected something more substantive. Bryant had often reached out to star players with questions on varying X’s and O’s, including Jordan, Magic Johnson and Hakeem Olajuwon. Bryant then became gracious toward sharing that with the next generation’s star players. “He was one of the players I think that led the charge of really reaching out to all-time greats to try to collect wisdom and advice from them,” Pelinka said of Bryant. “He was one of the first players, I think, to really, really tap in to getting knowledge from the all-time greats and to be inspired by them.
And to think now that a part of him will live in the Hall of Fame, a part of his spirit will always be there, the inspiration flips I think from those type of players inspiring him to now him being an inspiration to all of them and to all of us.”