Vanessa Bryant posted a heartfelt message dedicated to her late husband, Kobe Bryant, on Instagram on Sunday, which would have been Bryant’s 42nd birthday.
The pain still remains for Vanessa, about seven months since Kobe and their daughter, Gianna, were among the nine people killed in a helicopter crash outside of Calabasas.
Vanessa acknowledges feeling “completely broken inside,” though she also stated Kobe would be proud of their resilient daughters.
Bryant’s death made headlines all around the world. Kobe was an icon bigger than basketball, and his passing resonated with millions of people.
Meanwhile, there are those close to Bryant who have attempted to help Vanessa and the kids during the grieving process.
Kobe’s longtime teammate and friend Pau Gasol has taken to “playing uncle,” and WNBA star Sabrina Ionescu has spent some of her rehab with the Bryant children, as well.
People like Gasol and Ionescu have been vocal about keeping Bryant’s legacy alive.
The same can be said for Phoenix Suns combo guard Devin Booker, who wrote Kobe’s words to him (“Be Legendary”) on his sneakers before every game in the Orlando “bubble.” In fitting fashion, Booker was one of the best players during the NBA restart, leading the Suns to an 8-0 record and within a hair of the playoffs.
It will always be hard to fully grasp how Kobe could be taken away so early.
Bryant was one of the fiercest competitors on the floor, but also a fierce father, an advocate for women in sports and an embodiment of self-belief. He will be missed by many, including Vanessa and those closest to him.
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