In a tribute for the late Kobe and Gianna Bryant at Los Angeles Lakers home court on Monday, Vanessa Bryant courageously gave a moving speech in front of 19,000 people.
The tragic helicopter crash on Jan. 26 that took the lives of Kobe, Gianna and seven others shocked the world but most especially the families of those who died. Vanessa kept her silence for many days after the heartbreaking news broke out. But shortly after, she revealed her devastation through an Instagram post.
And recently, on Monday, she bravely faced the public and vulnerably shared her heart in front of 19,000 people. On the center stage, in a darkened arena, she gave tribute to her late husband, Kobe Bryant, 41, and their 13-year-old daughter, Gianna while in tears. The widow first talked about her daughter before telling about Kobe.
“My baby girl. Gianna Bryant is an amazingly sweet and gentle soul,” she could hardly get the words out through her tears.
Vanessa then went on recounting how Gianna was an amazing daughter.
She revealed how Gigi wanted to be “the best player in the WNBA.” Because the young girl wanted to make “a huge difference for women’s basketball.”
“Gigi was motivated to change the way everyone viewed women in sports. She wrote papers in school defending women and wrote about how the unequal pay difference for the NBA and WNBA leagues wasn’t fair,” she said.
The grieving wife then moved to tell of her husband, Kobe Bryant. She said that even though the world views Kobe as “the greatest of all time, a writer, an Oscar winner and the Black Mamba,” she never looked at him that way.
“I couldn’t see him as a celebrity nor just an incredible basketball player. He was my sweet husband and the beautiful father of my children. He was mine. He was my everything,” described Vanessa.
“..I was his first girlfriend, his first love, his wife, his best friend, his confidant and his protector.”
The mother then recounted on their beautiful love story as a couple. How the NBA star put his family first despite the fame and spotlight.
Vanessa Bryant To Kobe And Gigi
“Everybody naturally gravitated towards them. They were funny, happy, silly and they loved life. They were so full of joy and adventure.”
While in tears, she said, “God knew they couldn’t be on this earth without each other. He had to bring them home to heaven together.”
“Babe, you take care of our Gigi. I got Nati, BiBi and KoKo, and we’re still the best team,” Vanessa Bryant addressed her husband and daughter.
“We love and miss you, Boo-Boo and Gigi. May you both rest in peace and have fun in heaven until we meet again one day. We love you both and miss you forever and always, Mommy.”
Video by FOX Sports