Golden State Warriors star Klay Thompson received the Best Comeback Award at the 2022 ESPYs this past week.
Understandably, Thompson first thanked his team for giving him a massive contract even while he was injured.
“I would not be here without the Warriors organization,” Thompson said. “I mean who pays a guy after tearing his ACL? That’s unheard of but they had faith in me.”
Thompson then turned his attention to Los Angeles Lakers legend, Kobe Bryant, and the role he played in his recovery.
“The best memories I have growing up down here in Southern California are going to Staples with father,” Thompson said. “I had a privileged life. He was a commentator for the Lakers and I would go to every game early just to watch Kobe do his thing.
“And lastly I would like to thank the Bryant family because, I don’t know if Vanessa’s out there watching but to Vanessa and her three beautiful girls. We think of Kobe and Gigi every day. And I read Mamba Mentality every day during rehab. Those are the best memories of my life watching him play. He inspired me to the athlete I am today.”
One person who greatly appreciated Thompson’s kind words about Kobe? His wife, Vanessa Bryant.
“You’re a class act,” she wrote on Instagram. “Thank you for your support and love for Kobe, my Gigi and our family. Thank you for always including my Gigi when you think of Kob. Congratulations.”
This isn’t the first time in recent days that Vanessa has set the internet ablaze. Her Pau Gasol video from early July also left quite the impression.
Losing her husband and daughter so tragically was incredibly difficult for Vanessa. Beyond that she also had to deal with an ugly legal war with her own mom that was rooted in some truly strange and illogical reasoning.
Russell Wilson and Ciara know how to leave an impression. https://t.co/XWQZ1MD4I9
— Game 7 (@game7__) July 21, 2022
Because of that, gestures that pay tribute to both Kobe and Gigi, like what Thompson did at the ESPYs, mean so much. It’s easy to take people and families for granted.
Luckily, folks like Thompson are around to ensure that Kobe’s memory lives on forever and that the Bryant family continues to get the support they deserve.
The ESPYs are a largely forgettable event usually, even for athletes, but moments like this make it truly meaningful on an unexpected level.