2020 was a rough year for a number of reasons, and what really hit the entertainment world was the unfortunate number of celebrity deaths. One that arguably rocked the world the hardest was that of basketball legend Kobe Bryant, who alongside his 13-year-old daughter and several others, was killed in a helicopter crash. Bryant’s absence is still felt by many, especially his wife, Vanessa. She has been strong in honoring her husband’s memory, though, and she recently paid tribute to him with a tender message on his birthday. And yes, crying would be a natural response.
Kobe Bryant would’ve turned 42 this year, and fans have been taking to social media to remember the late basketball great. Vanessa Bryant paid tribute in her own way by posting a sweet throwback photo to Instagram. She also penned a short but sweet caption. Take a look down below:
I’m honestly still in amazement at how Vanessa Bryant has managed to maintain her composure since the passing of her husband and daughter. She recently experienced a particularly “rough” moment when dropping off oldest daughter Natalia at college. Nevertheless, she continues to exude strength and occasionally shares sweet memories like these.
Following Kobe Bryant’s death in January 2020, countless tributes poured in from celebrities across Hollywood. A public memorial service was also held for both him and daughter Gianna at the Staples Center, the home of the Los Angeles Lakers. The ceremony, which was attended by countless fans and celebrities, included remarks from NBA greats like Shaquille O’Neal and Michael Jordan.
The posthumous tributes to Kobe Bryant have been beautiful to see. One that likely meant a lot to fans was his appearance in ESPN’s The Last Dance. The series highlighted Bryant’s meeting with Michael Jordan at the 1998 NBA All-Star Game and featured bits of a posthumous interview with the Laker great.
Like Vanessa Bryant, those who knew Kobe Bryant best have been reflective and respectful of his vast legacy. Earlier this year, former teammate Shaquille O’Neal got candid about marking the one-year anniversary of Bryant’s death. O’Neal, who refers to himself as a “tough cookie,” did this by calling and checking on the late athlete’s parents. While the relationship between the two wasn’t always solid, they’d ultimately reconciled by the time Bryant passed, and it’s clear that O’Neal did care a great deal about his friend and colleague.
While the sting of Kobe Bryant’s death will probably remain with fans for years to come, they’ll still have plenty of memories of him that they can hold close. And as we continue to pay tribute to one of the greatest athletes the world has ever known, let’s also push even more positive energy toward his wife and daughters.
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