Tag Archives: Vanessa Bryant

Vanessa Bryant Speaks For The First Time At Kobe And Gianna’s Memorial

(LOS ANGELES, Ca. (AP) – Kobe Bryant’s wife offered a poignant portrait of her NBA superstar husband and their daughter Monday at a packed memorial service for the two, who were among nine people killed last month in a helicopter crash in Los Angeles.

Speaking at times through tears, Vanessa Bryant praised her husband’s devotion to their family as she addressed thousands of fans gathered at Staples Center to remember Bryant and 13-year-old Gianna.

”God knew they couldn’t be on this Earth without each other,” Vanessa Bryant said. ”He had to bring them home to have them together. Babe, you take care of our Gigi.”

The service took place at the downtown arena where Bryant played for the Los Angeles Lakers for the final 17 seasons of his two-decade NBA career. Thousands of Lakers fans, many wearing Bryant’s jersey or team colors, attended the tearful gathering to honor Los Angeles’ most popular athlete and a global basketball icon.

The ceremony began with Beyonce performing her songs ”XO” and ”Halo” with dozens of backup musicians. Alicia Keys performed Beethoven’s ”Moonlight Sonata” later in the program, and Christina Aguilera sang ”Ave Maria.”

The two-hour program concluded with ”Dear Basketball,” Bryant’s Academy Award-winning short film.

After Jimmy Kimmel welcomed the crowd, Vanessa Bryant remembered the family’s life with Gianna and her three siblings and then eulogized her husband. They had been together since 1999.

”He was the most amazing husband,” she said. ”Kobe loved me more than I could ever express or put into words. I was fire. He was ice. Vice versa at times. … He was my everything.”

The mourners included Lakers greats such as Jerry West, Kareem Abdul-Jabbar, Magic Johnson and Pau Gasol. NBA Commissioner Adam Silver joined Michael Jordan, Shaquille O’Neal, Phil Jackson and dozens of current NBA players, including Stephen Curry, Kyrie Irving and Los Angeles natives James Harden, Russell Westbrook and DeMar DeRozan. Celebrities such as Kanye West, Kim Kardashian, Jennifer Lopez and Alex Rodriguez also attended.

Jordan, the Chicago Bulls great whose career was wrapping up as Bryant’s was starting in the late 1990s, praised Bryant as ”one of my dear friends. He was like a little brother. … As I got to know him, I wanted to be the best big brother that I could be.”

O’Neal and Bryant joined the Lakers together in 1996, and they won three consecutive championships during eight tumultuous seasons in purple and gold. Although their relationship was often publicly rocky, Shaq said the two were always friendly in private, even comparing their dynamic to John Lennon and Paul McCartney.

”Kobe and I pushed each other to play some of the greatest basketball of all time,” O’Neal said. ”I’m proud nobody has accomplished what the threepeat Lakers have done since the Shaq and Kobe Lakers did it.”

O’Neal also got the biggest laugh in the somber service with a profane joke about an exchange in which Shaq told Kobe there was no ”I” in team, but Bryant responded by noting that there is an ”M-E.”

Vanessa Bryant was followed on the podium by basketball stars Diana Taurasi and Sabrina Ionescu. Kobe Bryant was a passionate advocate for women’s basketball, and Gigi Bryant was a promising young player.

”If I represented the present of the women’s game, Gigi represented the future, and Kobe knew it,” said Ionescu, the Oregon star who was mentored by Bryant.

Rob Pelinka, Bryant’s longtime agent before he became the Lakers’ general manager in 2017, referred to the day of the crash as ”when the axis of the world seemed to shift forever, for all of us.” Pelinka was also Gigi Bryant’s godfather, and the families were close.

He also revealed that Bryant had texted him only moments before the crash, asking for help in securing an internship with a baseball agent for teenager Alexis Altobelli, who lost her parents and younger sister in the crash moments later.

”Kobe lived to make other people’s lives better, all the way up to his final text,” Pelinka said.

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Kobe Bryant And Vanessa Expecting Fourth Child

(Los Angeles, CA) — If NBA legend Kobe Bryant was hoping for a boy this time around, maybe the 5th time will be a charm for him and his wife Vanessa.  They’re expecting their fourth child later this year and from what Kobe says…it’s a girl.

The former NBA champ made the announcement Tuesday on social media. He said that  “beyond excited” for their baby girl to arrive.

The couple already share three daughters together. Natalia, Gianna and Bianka. The two have been married for 17 years. Vanessa is due later this year.

Mamba! Lakers Retire Both Of Kobe’s Jerseys

(SL) – The jersey numbers of Los Angeles Lakers legend Kobe Bryant now hang in the rafters of Staples Center. Bryant was on hand last night for a halftime ceremony where his numbers 8 and 24 were retired by the Lakers.
He told the crowd he loved them before discussing the current Lakers squad, urging them to bring the team back into the championship picture. Bryant becomes the first player in NBA history to have two numbers retired by the same team.
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He played his entire 20-year career with the Lakers, helping them win five titles during that time.
Bryant becomes the first player in NBA history to have two numbers retired by the same team.  He played his entire 20-year career with the Lakers, helping them win five titles during that time.
The ceremony comes 20 months after his 20-year run came to an end with Bryant as the third-leading scorer of all-time and a five-time champion, By his side, his 1-year-old daughter, Bianka, his wife, Vanessa, and older daughters, 14-year-old Natalia and 11-year-old Gianna.
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Kobe is the first player to have two numbers retired. As for which one he prefers the legend says, ““I kind of go back and forth,” Bryant said. “(No.) 8 has something that 24 will never, ever, ever, ever have, and that’s the ability to grow hair. So it’s tough …”
He wore No. 8 during the first 10 year that saw three championships and a Colorado scandal. The No. 24 era endured an unfulfilled trade demand in 2007 and winning two more rings without the big man Shaquille O’Neal at his side (2009 and 2010) and a plethora of injuries. Two numbers, Two eras…One legendary Bamba!