Vanessa Bryant, 37, just posted a heartrending image honoring her late husband, Kobe Bryant, and 13-year-old daughter Gianna, who tragically lost their lives in a helicopter crash on Jan. 26. In the photo, Gianna’s Mamba Sports Academy jersey — with her #2 — is placed next to Kobe’s #24 Lakers uniform on two floor seats at Staples Center. “There is no #24 without #2. ❤️#GirlDaddy #DaddysGirl #MyBabies ❤️❤️ #OurAngels,” she captioned a gorgeous photo, taken at Staples Center ahead of Kobe Bryant’s epic memorial.
The chairs were each adorned with a beautiful bouquet of red roses, as a sea of #24 jerseys could be seen on each seat behind. Just an hour before the emotional post, Vanessa also broke her silence on Instagram story with a breathtaking sunset that appears to be taken from her Newport Beach, California home. With a view of a covered swimming pool and the Pacific Ocean, she added two big hearts — one gold and one yellow — for the signature colors of the Los Angeles Lakers.
Friends, fans and the basketball community immediately showed their support in Vanessa’s comments. “Forever and always! ♾💜💛 A Shining a light ✨ We love you V!” Chris Bosh‘s wife Adrienne shared. Kim Kardashian shared two beautiful shining star emojis, while Khloe added two angel emojis — one for Kobe, and one for Gianna. Several Real Housewives also commented, including Kyle Richards, Kim Zolciak, and Teddi Mellencamp.
Staples Center and the Los Angeles Lakers produced a tremendous tribute to their former star, featuring a stellar performance of “Amazing Grace” by Usher, followed by Boyz II Men‘s national anthem. Cellist Ben Hong performed during a video montage to Kobe, which featured his career highlights and quotes about love, life, and basketball. “I love being married to wife, we have a lot of fun together,” he added, as family photos of the couple and their four daughters — including Natalia, 17, Bianka, 3, and Capri, 8 mos. — on the screen. A segment of the tribute also showed some of Gianna and Kobe’s moments on the basketball court, including at his 2016 retirement.
The tributes didn’t stop there, however, as Wiz Khalifa, 32, took the stage for an emotional halftime performance of his song “See You Again.” The emotional goodbye track, which features Charlie Puth and was originally written for the late Paul Walker, had game attendees in tears as they listened and sang along.
Vanessa’s back-to-back posts followed her devastating statement on Wednesday, Jan. 29. “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,” she captioned a family portrait. “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.” The 37-year-old also took her account off of private, and updated her profile photo to a portrait of Kobe and Gianna embracing on a basketball court.