Before his tragic death, Kobe Bryant shared a whirlwind romance with wife Vanessa Bryant. Despite several ups and downs, the two enjoyed two magical decades together, packed full of life, love and time well spent with four incredible daughters. Only a few months before he and daughter Gianna “Gigi” Bryant passed away in a helicopter crash, the star athlete and his stunning wife celebrated 20 years together.
Milestones aside, though, the pair shared plenty of romantic moments without anything in particular to celebrate. Bryant, 41, regularly took to Instagram to gush over his wife and daughters, showering them with love and compliments. “My babies,” he captioned a photo of Vanessa, 37, and daughter Bianka, 3, in September 2019. “Mamba and Queen,” he wrote as he shared a selfie with his wife in August 2019.
Heartbreakingly, however, Vanessa lost her husband and one of her daughters on January 26. The two were among nine passengers killed in the crash on the morning of the 2020 Grammys. During the night’s show, celebrities, friends and fans alike honored their passing with speeches and musical tributes. “We never imagined in a million years we’d have to start the show like this,” host Alicia Keys told the audience. “Los Angeles, America, and the whole wide world lost a hero. … We’re literally standing here, heartbroken, in the house that Kobe Bryant built.”
Though the Bryant family is grieving their loss privately, social media has exploded with memorials from so many who knew and loved the athlete. Lauren London, who lost her boyfriend, the late rapper Nipsey Hussle, in 2019, used Instagram to reach out to the mother and her surviving daughters. “Heart is heavy. There are no words, just real conversations with God. Sending my heart to Vanessa and the family,” she wrote.
Former teammate Shaquille O’Neal also used social media to share his memories of Bryant in several different posts. “Kobe was so much more than an athlete, he was a family man,” he wrote in one. “That was what we had most in common. We love our families. Whenever we got together, I would hug his children like they were my own, and he would embrace my kids like they were his. His baby girl Gianna was born on the same day as my youngest daughter Me’Arah. I miss you already, brother. This is truly unbelievable. Everyone, please keep the Bryants in your prayers.”
Check out the gallery below to see the highs and lows that Bryant and Vanessa shared together over the years.
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