Snoop Dogg delivered a powerful, ‘Mamba style’ tribute to the late Lakers legend, Kobe Bryant during the virtual ESPY Awards on June 21. The rapper, who wore a purple and yellow ‘Lake Show’ sweatsuit, highlighted Kobe’s iconic career in his lyrics and visuals.
Kobe Bryant was honored at the 2020 ESPY Awards on Sunday night — nearly five months after his tragic death in a California helicopter crash. Snoop Dogg premiered a special tribute to the late 5-time NBA champion and rapped about his legacy, among other unique on-court moments. The Grammy-nominated rapper, 48, who respectively wore Lakers colors, performed from home during the remote show, due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
— SportsCenter (@SportsCenter) June 22, 2020
Snoop rapped as video footage of Kobe, as well as clips of the many murals made in tribute to the athlete, played over his voice. “All grit no smile … Let’s do it mamba style,” Snoop rapped as viewers were able to relive Kobe’s career highlights through past videos.
“Back-to-back-to-back champion. Gunnin’ for the pantheon. The L.A. X-factor,” Snoop later rapped about Kobe, who spent his entire 20-year career in Los Angeles with the Lakers. He reflected on Kobe’s prestigious, hard-work reputation, rapping, “A friend and leader, understandably. And you did it candidly. Your reign in the city remains … greatness in your name.”
(Photo credit: Jack Dempsey/AP/Shutterstock)
Kobe, 41, and his 13-year-old daughter Gianna “GiGi” Bryant were killed in a helicopter crash in California on January 26 — along with her basketball teammates Payton Chester, 13, and Alyssa Altobelli, 14, Sarah Chester, 46, Keri Altobelli, 46, John Altobelli, 56, Christina Mauser, 38, and the pilot Ara Zobayan, 50.
Kobe’s wife, Vanessa Bryant is currently involved in a wrongful death lawsuit against Island Express Helicopters, the company which owned the athlete’s private Sikorsky S-76 chopper, as well as the pilot’s representative, Berge Zobayan, who also happens to be his (the pilot’s) brother. Vanessa filed a wrongful death lawsuit against the helicopter company and the pilot on February 24, “seeking compensatory and punitive damages stemming from a helicopter crash in Calabasas, California on or about January 26, 2020, which resulted in the deaths of Kobe Bryant and GB, minor,” according to the legal documents obtained by HollywoodLife.
Vanessa penned a sweet Instagram tribute to Kobe on Sunday, which marked the family’s first Father’s Day since his death. “Happy Father’s Day to the BEST daddy in the world. We miss you so much. We love you forever and always. Love, Nani, Gigi, BB, Koko and VB @KobeBryant #BestoftheBest #GirlDad,” Vanessa wrote.
In April, Vanessa and Kobe would’ve celebrated their 19th wedding anniversary. In addition to Gianna, the couple share daughters Natalia, 17, Bianka, 3, and Capri, who turned 1 on Saturday, June 20. Also in April, Gianna and her two Mamba Academy teammates, Alyssa and Payton were selected as honorary picks during the 2020 WNBA draft. Our thoughts are with the families affected by this tragedy.