Kobe Bryant: Thank you from a Boy Mom.
It has been almost four weeks since the tragic news of your passing in a helicopter crash. I am sure as the years pass people will recall where they were and what they were doing when the news spread like wildfire. I was watching the NFL Pro Bowl game for work and my phone started blowing up with notifications. At first, I thought it was fake news, but soon enough it became apparent that this tragedy was indeed all too real.
I found myself shaken by the news and in a state of shock. Not only because basketball was my true first sporting passion. More so because the path you chose following your impressive 20-year basketball career captivated me. I got to know that part of you better than I knew the NBA basketball player Kobe Bryant. I loved your ability to inspire and motivate others to be the best at what they do and never give up on their dreams.
Your bond with your daughters was special. I loved to see your eyes gleam when you spoke of Gianna and how she was following in your footsteps. I remember your final interview with Jimmy Kimmel when you told him about people telling you that you and Vanessa need to have a boy to follow in your footsteps and how Gigi was like “um I’m right here”. I’ve watched the replay of that clip many times since your passing and it makes me smile every time.
When you started your NBA career you impressed me and worried me at the same time. In my eyes, I was the biggest Michael Jordan fan out there. I didn’t want you to come and take the spotlight from him or jeopardize any of the many records he held. I was a lot younger and didn’t appreciate your talent because of my Michael Jordan blinders until much later in your career. As I watched your final game with the Lakers and your retirement ceremony my eyes were tear-filled on both occasions.
60. POINT. GAME. pic.twitter.com/ZEMInkFxJf
— ESPN (@espn) January 28, 2020
As a huge fan of the show, I watched you on Jimmy Kimmel Live all 15 times you appeared on the show. You always made me laugh out loud and in your later appearances on his show, you inspired me. The Mamba mentality after you left the game resonated with me and inspired me. I’ve recently embarked on following my dreams and becoming a sportswriter, your words have wisdom have also been motivation.
I will continue to learn and grow and become the best version of myself. I’m not going to give up, instead, I am going to work hard to achieve my dreams because I can do it. Your desire to boost the WNBA and the talent and hardworking female basketball players all across the spectrum have given me the inspiration to follow my dreams, continue to break barriers, and utilize my innate talents to achieve my dreams.
I am a boy mom to my two sons born seven years apart. My oldest son had the passion and the talent to ball hard, but he was discouraged by negativity in other parts of his life and didn’t follow through to see where his talent could take him.
The time we spent together at practices and games and different team events has given my son and I something we bond over. Basketball on all levels.
As a mother, I cannot imagine your mother’s immense pain.
I am a wife. I cannot even begin to imagine the pain your wife, children, and loved ones are suffering through right now.
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My girls and I want to thank the millions of people who’ve shown support and love during this horrific time. Thank you for all the prayers. We definitely need them. We are completely devastated by the sudden loss of my adoring husband, Kobe — the amazing father of our children; and my beautiful, sweet Gianna — a loving, thoughtful, and wonderful daughter, and amazing sister to Natalia, Bianka, and Capri. We are also devastated for the families who lost their loved ones on Sunday, and we share in their grief intimately. There aren’t enough words to describe our pain right now. I take comfort in knowing that Kobe and Gigi both knew that they were so deeply loved. We were so incredibly blessed to have them in our lives. I wish they were here with us forever. They were our beautiful blessings taken from us too soon. I’m not sure what our lives hold beyond today, and it’s impossible to imagine life without them. But we wake up each day, trying to keep pushing because Kobe, and our baby girl, Gigi, are shining on us to light the way. Our love for them is endless — and that’s to say, immeasurable. I just wish I could hug them, kiss them and bless them. Have them here with us, forever. Thank you for sharing your joy, your grief and your support with us. We ask that you grant us the respect and privacy we will need to navigate this new reality. To honor our Team Mamba family, the Mamba Sports Foundation has set up the MambaOnThree Fund to help support the other families affected by this tragedy. To donate, please go to MambaOnThree.org. To further Kobe and Gianna’s legacy in youth sports, please visit MambaSportsFoundation.org. Thank you so much for lifting us up in your prayers, and for loving Kobe, Gigi, Natalia, Bianka, Capri and me. #Mamba #Mambacita #GirlsDad #DaddysGirls #Family ❤️
Despite all of the people I am for my family, I strive to become someone for myself. I strive to follow my dreams, never give up, and give it all I have and then more. The Mamba mentality.
Thank you for giving the NBA and its fans 20 years of your life. Thank you for helping your community following your retirement. We also thank you for showing us that we can do it as well.
You may have not been perfect, but who is? Your legacy is not only your amazing career with the Lakers. I believe more importantly it will be the father you were to your children. The intense interest you took in Gigi’s passion and helping her to become the best version of yourself amongst your numerous other accolades.
Kobe, you will be remembered for so much more than being one of the greatest basketball players of all time and your legacy will never die. You and Gianna will live on in our hearts always.
Main Photo: Embed from Getty Images