Kobe Bryant’s wife says ‘I’m mad I didn’t go first’ as she pays tribute to late star on his 42nd birthday | US News


Kobe Bryant’s wife has paid tribute to her late husband on what would have been his 42nd birthday, saying she wishes she could “wake up from this horrible nightmare”.

Vanessa Bryant shared a lengthy message to her nearly 14 million Instagram followers in which she said she loved and missed her US basketball star husband and daughter Gianna “more than I can ever explain”.

The pair were killed in a helicopter crash which also took the lives of seven other people in January.

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Kobe Bryant pictured with his daughter Gianna in Las Vegas in July 2019

Mrs Bryant wrote: “To my baby. Happy birthday. I love you and miss you more than I can ever explain. I wish you and Gigi were here to celebrate YOU!”

She continued: “I wish I could make your fav food or a birthday cake with my Gigi. I miss your big hugs, your kisses, your smile, your loud a** deep laugh.”

The widow described how she wanted to break down but had to keep a positive attitude for her surviving children, Natalia, Bianka, and Capri.

“Our lives feel so empty without you and Gigi. I’ve been completely broken inside. As much as I want to cry, I put a smile on my face to make our daughters’ days shine a little brighter. I’m not the strong one, they are,” she wrote.

Mrs Bryant said she wished she had died before her husband and daughter as it was too painful to live without them.

“I’m mad I didn’t go first… It should’ve been me,” she said.

“I know my Gigi is celebrating you like she always has on our special days. I miss my thoughtful princess so much.”

Vanessa Laine Bryant reacts during a public memorial for her late husband, NBA great Kobe Bryant, her daughter Gianna and seven others killed in a helicopter crash on January 26, at the Staples Center in Los Angeles, California, U.S., February 24, 2020. REUTERS/Lucy Nicholson
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Vanessa Bryant at a public memorial for her late husband

In May, Mrs Bryant marked the birthday of her eldest daughter Gianna, who would have turned 14.

“Happy 14th Birthday to my sweet baby girl, Gianna,” she wrote on Instagram. “Mommy loves you more than I can ever show you. You are part of MY SOUL forever.”

She also shared a letter from her husband which she found unopened after his death.

Mrs Bryant said she had waited until her birthday to open the letter, which had been addressed to “The Love of my Life”.



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Vanessa Bryant posts heartfelt message to Kobe on what would have been his 42nd birthday


Vanessa Bryant posted a loving, heart-wrenching message to her late husband Kobe Bryant and their daughter Gianna on what would have been the NBA star’s 42nd birthday on Sunday.

“To my baby~ Happy birthday. I love you and miss you more than I can ever explain. I wish you and Gigi were here to celebrate YOU! I wish I could make you your fav food or a birthday cake with my Gigi. I miss your big hugs, your kisses, your smile, your loud ass deep laugh,” she wrote in an Instagram post.

“I miss teasing you, making you laugh and bursting your bubble. I miss you sitting on my lap like my big baby that you are. I think about your tenderness and patience all the time. I think about everything you would do in situations to help me deal with everything thrown my way.”

Vanessa Bryant’s post goes on to discuss her personal struggles since Kobe, 13-year-old Gigi and seven others died in a helicopter crash in Calabasas, California, on January 26. The longtime Los Angeles Lakers star and others on board were on their way to a basketball game at the Mamba Sports Academy in Thousand Oaks.

“Our lives feel so empty without you and Gigi. I’ve been completely broken inside. As much as I want to cry, I put a smile on my face to make our daughters days shine a little brighter. I’m not the strong one, they are. They’re strong and resilient. I’m sure you’re proud of them. They put a smile on my face everyday,” she wrote.

“I wish I could wake up from this horrible nightmare. I wish I could surprise our girls and welcome you and Gigi home to us. I’m mad I didn’t go first. I always wanted to go first so that I selfishly didn’t have to feel this heartache. You were supposed to miss me. Gigi was supposed to be here with her sisters. It should’ve been me.”

Finally, she thanked Kobe for showing her what real love is and for “loving me enough to last several lifetimes.”

“I know my Gigi is celebrating you like she always has on our special days. I miss my thoughtful princess so much! Natalia, Gianna, Bianka, Capri and I wish you a happy birthday my love. I love you for now, forever and for always,” she wrote.

Nike posts new Kobe commercial

Vanessa Bryant’s post comes during a flurry of odes and commemorations of Kobe on Sunday.

Nike released a commercial titled “Better | Mamba Forever” narrated by rapper Kendrick Lamar to launch what the shoe company is calling “Mamba Week.”

“Kobe taught us to be better,” Lamar says in the ad.

The ad features video and audio of Kobe, clips of Nike-sponsored athletes and others inspired by him as well as scenes from Black Lives Matter protests.

Kobe’s nickname was Black Mamba and Gianna, a talented basketball player like her father, was known as Mambacita.

The Lakers posted a highlight reel of Kobe’s highlights and interactions with family and fans on Sunday. He played his entire 20-year career with the Lakers, winning five titles before retiring in 2016.

The Los Angeles Dodgers are expected to honor Kobe and Gigi before the team’s game with the Colorado Rockies Sunday afternoon.





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