The widowed wife of deceased NBA legend Kobe Bryant has posted a touching tribute to her husband and her daughter Gianna after the two died tragically in a helicopter crash that resulted in 9 casualties.
“There is no #24 without #2,” 37-year-old Vanessa Bryant wrote as she shared a picture of her husband’s and her daughter’s jerseys placed over empty chairs inside Staples Center in Los Angeles.
The jerseys were put in place by the Lakers who reserved two seats in the honor of Kobe and Gianna as they were preparing for their first match following the tragic accident.
While Vanessa didn’t attend the match between the Lakers and Portland Trailblazers, she has requested the Staples Center officials to send her the items left behind in the arena surroundings by Kobe’s loyal fans.
“It will have been a week. We have contractually obligated events that are moving in,” the center’s president, Lee Zeidman, said.
“Vanessa had reached out to us and said, ‘Our family would like the items out there.’ So we’re going to catalog every one of them.
“By that I mean, t-shirts, letters, basketballs, stuffed animals, toys. We’re going to put those in specially made containers and we’re going to ship them to the family.”
Inside the center, LeBron James has also opened up and paid a tribute to his former teammate in the name of all Lakers.
“Now, I got something written down, but Lakers nation, I would be selling y’all short if I read off this s**t so I’m going to go from the heart,” he said as he addressed thousands of grieving fans.
“The first thing that comes to mind is all about family, and as I look around this arena, we’re all grieving…When you’re going through something like this the best thing you can do is lean on the shoulders’ of your family.
“I heard about the Lakers nation and how much of a family it is and that is absolutely what I’ve seen this week. Not only from the players, not only from the coaching staff, not only from the league, but from everybody.
“Everybody that’s here… this is really, truly a family. I know Kobe, Gianna, Vanessa and everybody thanks you guys from the bottom of their hearts.”
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