The Lakers star's widow shared a photo with Kobe from Nov. 27, 1999 on Instagram Monday
Vanessa Bryant has her late husband on her mind on a sentimental date.
The widow of Los Angeles Lakers legend Kobe Bryant shared a sweet photo from 24 years ago on Instagram Monday as she reminisced on time spent with her love.
In the photo, she poses alongside Kobe, who died in a helicopter crash in 2020 along with the couple’s daughter Gianna, as he wraps one arm around her waist and she presses herself against his chest. Both Kobe and Vanessa are smiling from ear-to-ear in the shot.
“24 years ago…. Day 1. #1999 👑❤️ 11/27/99,” she wrote in the post’s caption, referencing that the photo was taken 24 years ago to the day — which was also Kobe's jersey number in the latter part of his storied career.
Several of Vanessa’s famous friends shared their love for the couple in the comments, with Kim Kardashian commenting “♾️,” Alicia Keys writing, “4 ever!!!!! 💜💜💜💜,” and Lauren London, who lost her boyfriend, Nipsey Hussle, in 2019, commenting “💙💙💙.”
WNBA star Sabrina Ioenescu shared some love on the post, too, writing, “😍😍😍” under the photo of her long time mentor and his wife.
New York Yankees icon Alex Rodriguez joined in, too, as he commented “🔥🔥” on the sweet shot of Vanessa and his late friend.
She honored him on Father’s Day this year, as she called him “the very best girl daddy” and shared several photos of him with their four daughters, including the late Gianna, who was 13 when she died in 2020 alongside her father and seven others.
In August, she posted a tribute in honor of what would’ve been his 45th birthday, as she shared 10 photos with him from throughout their decades-long relationship. “Happy 45th birthday, baby. I love you always & forever. ❤️ #82378,” she captioned the post.
Later that month, she announced that a statue in Kobe’s honor will be erected outside the L.A. Lakers arena in celebration of his contributions to the team and his legacy.
“As you know, Kobe played his entire 20-year NBA career as a Los Angeles Laker,” she said in a clip posted on both her Instagram account and the team’s account. “Since arriving in this city and joining the Lakers organization, he felt at home here, playing in the City of Angels."
"On behalf of the Lakers, my daughters and me, I am so honored that, right in the center of Los Angeles, in front of the place known as 'The House That Kobe Built,' we are going to unveil his statue so that his legacy can be celebrated forever," she said.
The statue will be unveiled on Feb. 8, 2024 and joins the likes of other Lakes legends Elgin Baylor, Shaquille O’Neal, Kareem Abdul-Jabbar, Earvin “Magic” Johnson, Jerry West and Chick Hearn who also have statues in their honor.
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“Kobe Bryant was one of the most extraordinary athletes of all time, and one of the most iconic individuals in the history of Los Angeles,” Lakers Governor Jeanie Buss shared in a statement at the time.
“There is no better place for Kobe to be honored with a statue than here, at the center of our city, where everyone can celebrate him and be inspired by his incredible achievements.”
The league noted that Kobe was involved in planning the statue prior to his death nearly four years ago.
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