Kobe Bryant’s wife Vanessa took to Instagram to pay tribute to her ‘best friend’ and ‘the best daddy’ in a poignant throwback post.
Bryant, 41, and his 13-year-old daughter Gianna, as well as seven others, died in a freak helicopter crash on January 26 in Calabasas, California.
Millions of tributes have been pouring in since the tragic incident, recalling the basketball icon’s greatest moments and offering well-wishes to his family. Today, February 2, Vanessa uploaded a photo of her husband on social media, writing: ‘Miss you so much.’
The full post reads: ‘#mybestfriend #theBestdaddy Miss you so much. #handsome #sweet #funny #silly #lovinghusband. Miss you saying: ‘Bonjourno principessa/reina’.’
She also posted an old interview clip in which Bryant was asked to name his best friend, to which he replied: ‘My wife.’
This comes after the Los Angeles Lakers’ first game since the legend’s death, against the Portland Trail Blazers. As well as 20,000 jerseys with Bryant’s number being laid out on the seats of the Staples Center in LA, two empty courtside seats were also reserved for Bryant and Gianna.
Vanessa uploaded a picture of the seats to Instagram, writing: ‘There is no #24 without #2.’
Before the game began, LeBron James gave a heartfelt speech honouring his friend, saying he wanted the evening to be ‘a celebration of the wide, illustrious life and career of Bryant, through the blood, sweat and tears’.
You can watch James’s full speech in the video below:
This is a celebration of the 20 years of the blood, the sweat, the tears, the broken-down body, the getting up, the sitting down, the everything, the countless hours, the determination to be as great as he could be. Tonight we celebrate the kid who came here at 18 years of age, retired at 38 and became probably the best dad we’ve seen over the last three years.
The 35-year-old recently got a tattoo inspired by the late legend’s career: a black mamba snake with ‘Mamba 4 life’, after Bryant’s self-dubbed nickname.
Vanessa has since launched the MambaOnThree Fund, a fundraising initiative established by the Mamba Sports Foundation to support the other grieving families.
More than three million people have also signed a petition calling on the NBA to ‘immortalise’ Bryant in the form of a new logo.
If you have experienced a bereavement and would like to speak with someone in confidence, contact Cruse Bereavement Care via their national helpline on 0808 808 1677.
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