Vanessa Bryant Mourns Kobe On ‘Mamba Day’ Nearly 3 Mos. After His Death: Losing Him Was ‘Senseless’

Vanessa Bryant paid tribute to her late husband, Kobe Bryant on April 13, otherwise known as 'Mamba Day' — the date Kobe played in his last NBA game, ever.

Reading Time: 2 minute
Vanessa & Kobe Bryant
View gallery
Image Credit: John Salangsang/Variety/Shutterstock

Vanessa Bryant continues to celebrate the life and career of her late husband Kobe Bryant, who died in a helicopter crash on January 26. The couple’s 13-year-old daughter Gianna “GiGi” Bryant also perished in the crash. Vanessa, 37, paid tribute to the Lakers legend on Mamba Day, April 13, which marks the date of Kobe’s last NBA game in purple and gold. She shared a near 5-minute video collage of highlights from Kobe’s iconic basketball career, including his “farewell” speech from his final game in 2016.

“My husband worked his ass off for 20 years. Gave it his all,” Vanessa began, referencing her husband’s 20 years with the Los Angeles Lakers. “All he wanted was to spend time with our girls and me to make up for lost time. He wanted to be there for every single milestone and special moment in our girls lives,” she wrote about their four daughters, Natalia, 17, Bianka, 3, Capri, 9 months, and the late GiGi.

“He only got to enjoy 3 years and 9 months of retirement. We had 2 more daughters, he won an Oscar, he opened Granity studios, he became a 5x best selling author,” Vanessa continued, before she noted one of Kobe’s most proud jobs of all. “[He] coached Gianna’s basketball team in that time. She worked hard and gave her all 7 days a week just like her daddy.”

(Video credit: Vanessa Bryant/Instagram)

Vanessa concluded with, “I wish I could back to that morning, every day. I wish they had a normal local game on 1/26. Life truly isn’t fair. This is just senseless.”

Just one day prior to Mamba Day, Vanessa and her daughters celebrated their first Easter without Kobe. Vanessa shared photos of the girls in their Sunday best on social media.

Kobe, GiGi, along with seven others — John Altobelli, the head baseball coach at Orange Coast College, his wife Keri Altobelli and their daughter Alyssa Altobelli; Christina Mauser, an assistant basketball coach at Kobe’s Mamba Sports Academy; Payton Chester, who played on the team, her mother, Sarah Chester; and Ara Zobayan, the pilot —were killed in a tragic helicopter crash that occurred in Calabasas, CA on January 26. The group was traveling to a basketball game in foggy weather when the Oscar-winner’s Sikorsky S-76 chopper fell from the sky and crashed and burned in the hills of southern California.

Kobe and Gianna were laid to rest in early February in a private burial in California. Our thoughts are with the Bryant family, as well as the other families impacted by this horrific tragedy.