Vanessa Bryant Breaks Her Silence
By: Jordan Oliver
It’s been nearly a week since the tragic helicopter accident, which claimed Kobe Bryant, his daughter, Gigi, and 7 others on their way to train at the Mamba Academy. Until yesterday, the family had yet to make a statement, but the LA Times reported the family’s request for privacy: “We are disappointed in some media’s broad use of unnamed sources and blind quotes, and remind everyone that the Bryant family will speak on our own behalf when appropriate,” said Molly Carter, president of Kobe Inc. “To this point, no one has been authorized to speak on behalf of the family regarding any personal details surrounding Sunday’s tragedy, including stories related to the family’s previous air travel decisions. We ask members of the media for respect and responsible judgment during this difficult time. These inaccurate reports only add unnecessary pain to a grieving family.” Later that day, Vanessa Bryant broke her silence via Instagram:
“My girls and I want to thank the millions of people who’ve shown support and love during this horrific time. Thank you for all the prayers. We definitely need them. We are completely devastated by the sudden loss of my adoring husband, Kobe — the amazing father of our children; and my beautiful, sweet Gianna — a loving, thoughtful, and wonderful daughter, and amazing sister to Natalia, Bianka, and Capri. We are also devastated for the families who lost their loved ones on Sunday, and we share in their grief intimately. 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. 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. I’m not sure what our lives hold beyond today, and it’s impossible to imagine life without them. But we wake up each day, trying to keep pushing because Kobe, and our baby girl, Gigi, are shining on us to light the way. Our love for them is endless — and that’s to say, immeasurable. I just wish I could hug them, kiss them and bless them. Have them here with us, forever. Thank you for sharing your joy, your grief and your support with us. We ask that you grant us the respect and privacy we will need to navigate this new reality. To honor our Team Mamba family, the Mamba Sports Foundation has set up the MambaOnThree Fund to help support the other families affected by this tragedy. To donate, please go to MambaOnThree.org. To further Kobe and Gianna’s legacy in youth sports, please visit MambaSportsFoundation.org. Thank you so much for lifting us up in your prayers, and for loving Kobe, Gigi, Natalia, Bianka, Capri and me.”
Tonight will be the Lakers’ first game back at the Staples Center since the horrific loss. They had cancelled the last scheduled home game against the Clippers to allow the players and organization time to grief. The Lakers organization will hold a memorial honoring the life of Kobe Bryant during the game; however, after the sudden death of the future Hall of Famer did their own versions of a memorial. This includes taking 24 second and 8 second violations to honor the numbers he wore throughout his NBA career and retiring their numbers out of respect. Even the all-star game committee announced they will use a different format this year, where the final score will be the first team to score the total of the winning team’s first 3 quarters plus 24. Thousands of fans continue to flock to the Staples Center to pay tribute to their hero and just be around the arena dubbed the “House That Kobe Built.” Lebron James and Anthony Davis were seen at practice dawning new Kobe themed ink on their thighs as reported by TMZ. Whether family, friend, or a fan, it is clear that there is a huge void left in the world after this tragedy that might never be filled. All we can do is love and support the victims still affected by this horrific accident. Use this as a harsh reminder that life is not promised—hold your loved ones tight.