Vanessa Bryant and the entire Bryant Family have epitomized strength and class over the past year. Despite experiencing an unspeakable tragedy, they have persevered and been a source of inspiration for many.
This week Vanessa paid tribute to her daughter Gianna, who died in a helicopter crash with Kobe Bryant earlier this year.
“My Gigi’s fav heels,” she wrote in the Instagram caption of a photo featuring a pair of heels she was wearing.
Posts and dedications to Gianna and Kobe are a natural part of the grieving process and help both the Bryant family and their fans all over the world partake in the mourning.
On January 26, 2020 at just over 9:00 am, Kobe and 13-year-old Gianna departed from John Wayne Airport in Orange County, California, in a 1991 Sikorsky S-76B helicopter. Seven people accompanied them on the trip, including head baseball coach at Orange Coast College John Altobelli and pilot Ara Zobayan.
The group was traveling to a basketball game at Bryant’s Mamba Sports Academy in Newbury Park, where Gianna was supposed to play and Kobe was set to coach. Unfortunately, somewhere along the way the helicopter lost its course and crashed. Everyone onboard perished.
The lesson here: actions have consequences. https://t.co/aVhdqhCxfN
— Game 7 (@game7__) November 27, 2020
Ever since the incident, Vanessa has continuously paid tribute to all the people whose lives were lost that day.
Beyond that, Vanessa has also taken Kobe’s old mantle as a Los Angeles Lakers ambassador and constant source of inspiration for the franchise and players.
Ultimately, the Lakers dedicated their title-winning 2019-20 season to the entire Bryant family. They honored Kobe all year with a “KB” patch on their uniforms and even had an alternate “Black Mamba” kit which they wore for several postseason outings. The Lakers suffered only one defeat in the ‘Black Mamba’ jerseys.
Masai Ujiri woke Kawhi Leonard up at 5 am. Every. Single. Day. https://t.co/Dd0ioc4fIv
— Game 7 (@game7__) November 28, 2020
After the Lakers won their title, Vanessa came out and admitted how much she wished her husband had been around to see it.
“Congratulations Uncle P! Congratulations @lakers Kobe was right, RP! Stay the course – blockout the noise. Go Lakers! Wish Kobe and Gigi were here to see this,” she wrote.
Lakers general manager Rob Pelinka, or “Uncle P” as Vanessa referred to him in that Instagram post, was one of Kobe’s closest friends and served as his agent during his playing days.
Vanessa also later showcased an amazing tattoo she got, showing the names Kobe, Vanessa, Natalia, Gianna, Bianka and Capri inked along the outside of her right foot. It can be seen in her most recent Instagram tribute as well.
A win-win-win. https://t.co/8o7PbxxZkT
— Game 7 (@game7__) November 29, 2020
Vanessa has been a rock for Natalia, age 17, Bianka, age 3, and Capri, age 1, ever since Kobe’s tragic passing, and it’s nice to see that she is continuing to cope with the heartbreak to the best of her abilities.
The Bryant family will always be considered Los Angeles royalty, no matter how much time goes by. As a result of that, when tributes like this week’s go viral, it is a joy and celebration for one and all.
After everything this family has been through, they deserve all the relief, positivity and happiness in the universe.