Vanessa Bryant mourned her late husband, NBA legend Kobe Bryant, on April 13, the anniversary of his retirement from basketball. She shared a nearly 5-minute video of the sports star on Instagram and labeled it “Mamba Day.” Kobe Bryant died in a January helicopter crash along with his daughter, Gianna, and seven others.
Vanessa started the post by talking about Kobe’s tireless work ethic. “My husband worked his ass off for 20 years. Gave it his all,” she wrote. “All he wanted was to spend time with our girls and me to make up for lost time.” Vanessa and Kobe had three daughters together: Gigi, Natalia, Capri, and Bianka.
Kobe was looking forward to spending time with his family after saying goodbye to playing professional basketball. “He wanted to be there for every single milestone and special moment in our girls lives. He only got to enjoy 3 years and 9 months of retirement,” she wrote.
After his retirement, Kobe and Vanessa welcomed their two youngest daughters, Capri and Bianka. In 2018, he won an Oscar for Best Animated Short Film for Dear Basketball, for which he served as the executive producer.
Vanessa Said Kobe and Gigi’s Death Was ‘Senseless’
Kobe was Gianna’s basketball coach. “She worked hard and gave her all seven days a week just like her daddy,” Vanessa wrote. “I wish I could go back to that morning, every day. I wish they had a normal local game on 1/26. Life truly isn’t fair. This is just senseless.”
Vanessa Says Her Body Refuses to Accept Kobe & Gigi Are Gone
Vanessa has been active on social media since the death of her daughter and husband. In a February post, she talked about how she’s been trying to accept that Kobe is gone and finds it impossible to grasp that her daughter has passed.
It’s like I’m trying to process Kobe being gone, but my body refuses to accept my Gigi will never come back to me. It feels wrong. Why should I be able to wake up another day when my baby girl isn’t being able to have that opportunity?! I’m so mad. She had so much life to live. Then I realize I need to be strong and be here for my three daughters. Mad I’m not with Kobe and Gigi, but thankful I’m here with Natalia, Bianka and Capri.
Weeks later, at the memorial service for Kobe and Gigi, Vanessa remembered the NBA legend and their daughter.
He was thoughtful and always wrote the best love letters and cards, and Gigi had his wonderful ability to express her feelings into paper and make you feel her love through his words. She was thoughtful like him. They were so easy to love. Everybody naturally gravitated towards them. They were funny, happy, silly, and they loved life. They were so full of joy and adventure. God knew they couldn’t be on this Earth without each other. He had to bring them home to have them together. Babe, you take care of our Gigi. I got Nati, BiBi and KoKo, and we’re still the best team.