Entertainment

Touching Tributes To Kobe Bryant Fill Social Media One Year After His Tragic Death

Last year was a wild and often scary time. The world will forever remember 2020 being the year that everything stopped and we all had to isolate. It was also the year that we lost Kobe Bryant in a helicopter crash and that death rattled the world.

Last year started with the shocking news of Kobe Bryant dying in a helicopter crash.

John Altobelli, Keri Altobelli, Alyssa Altobelli, Sarah Chester, Payton Chester, Ara Zobayan, Christina Mauser, Kobe Bryant, and Gianna Bryant all died when a helicopter crashed in the hills near Calabasas. The crash was a shock but TMZ reporting the deaths of Kobe and Gianna without Vanessa being notified angered many. Most of the world learned about Kobe and Gianni’s death because of the TMZ article.

People are remembering the Black Mamba as more than a basketball player.

Fans and friends have shared stories of Kobe and what he has meant to them. Social media is filled with fellow athletes remembering times they spent with Kobe and the kindness and wisdom he gave them in those moments. The basketball player was a legend in the sporting world and became a very important member of the Los Angeles community.

The Dallas Mavericks honored Kobe today in a tweet.

In 2007, Kobe requested a trade to leave the LA Lakers. Mark Cuban, the owner of the Dallas Mavericks, revealed that during that time the Mavericks almost acquired Kobe in a trade. Though Kobe almost went to Chicago, Dallas was in the running to be the next home for the legend.

Kobe was honored throughout the sporting world with some teams retiring his numbers. The sorting world lost a legend and ambassador for athletics that day and his absence is still felt strongly today.

Some people have shared small notes that Kobe sent them.

Kobe always had the reputation of being a thoughtful and kind person. Someone that people were able to connect with professionally and personally. These moments have endeared him to the LA community and why the city mourned his sudden death for months after.

You can check out Kobe with Guillermo in this clip of Guillermo’s NBA Media Day interviews.

Continue to rest in peace, Kobe. You are greatly missed.

READ: People Are Keeping Kobe Bryant Murals Safe

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Vanessa Bryant Wishes Gianna Happy Birthday On What Would Have Been Her Late Daughter’s 15th Birthday

Entertainment

Vanessa Bryant Wishes Gianna Happy Birthday On What Would Have Been Her Late Daughter’s 15th Birthday

Photo via vanessabryant/Instagram

The grieving process continues for Vanessa Bryant on her daughter, Gianna’s, birthday. If you have lost a loved one, you know that milestones like anniversaries, birthdays, and holidays can be especially hard. Days that would’ve been joyful in the past become bittersweet at best, and unbearable at worst.

On Friday, Vanessa Bryant took to Instagram to pay tribute to her late daughter, Gianna “Gigi” Bryant, who passed away last January in a tragic helicopter accident.

Vanessa Bryant posted a throwback photo of her and Gigi from years ago. A young Gigi sits in her mother’s lap. Vanessa’s arms are wrapped around her young daughter.

Vanessa Bryant’s birthday tribute to Gigi was short and sweet: “Dear Gianna, Happy 15th Birthday! [heart emoji] [kiss emoji] I love you! I miss you everyday! I wish you were here with us. There are no words to express how much I miss you. I love you Mamacita!”

Then, Vanessa Bryant tagged the birthday post #Quincenera, #Principessa and #Mambacita. As you may know, Gianna Bryant was dubbed “mambacita” because she loved basketball just as much as her father, the Black Mamba himself.

Just last month, Vanessa Bryant also celebrated what would have been her 20th anniversary with her late husband, Kobe Bryant.

On April 18th, Vanessa Bryant posted a beautiful photo of her and Kobe on their wedding day. “Happy Anniversary, baby. I love you. 20 years,” she wrote.

By publicly acknowledging Gigi Bryant’s 15th birthday even though she’s no longer here, Vanessa Bryant is doing exactly what grief counselors suggest. “Don’t ever feel you have to apologize for grieving. It’s what you need to do, even if it makes others uncomfortable, and you’re apology is unnecessary,” says renowned grief counselor Dr. Ken Druck.

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Vanessa Bryant Ends Relationship With Nike After They Reportedly Low-Balled Her and Slacked On Kobe Products

Entertainment

Vanessa Bryant Ends Relationship With Nike After They Reportedly Low-Balled Her and Slacked On Kobe Products

Photo via Getty Images

On Tuesday, Kobe Bryant’s widow, Vanessa Bryant announced that she chose not to renew the Bryant estate’s contract with Nike. Nike will no longer release Kobe products. Vanessa Bryant took to Twitter to announce the news.

In a statement, Vanessa Bryant said that she had been “hoping to forge a lifelong partnership with Nike that reflects my husband’s legacy.” But apparently, the brand didn’t want to play ball.

“Kobe and Nike have made some of the most beautiful basketball shoes of all time, worn and adored by fans and athletes in all sports across the globe,” Vanessa said. “It seems fitting that more NBA players wear my husband’s product than any other signature shoe.”

She continued: “My hope will always be to allow Kobe’s fans to get and wear his products. I will continue to fight for that. Kobe’s products sell out in seconds. That says everything. I was hoping to forge a lifelong partnership with Nike that reflects my husband’s legacy. We will always do everything we can to honor Kobe and Gigi’s legacies. That will never change.”

To some fans, Vanessa’s statement left them feeling like the Bryant estate and Nike ended on less-than-friendly terms.

https://twitter.com/NBAKicks/status/1381986843206373383?s=20

The specific language Vanessa used in the statement betrayed the fact that Nike didn’t offer the Bryant estate the contract that they had been hoping for. The fact that she said she had been “hoping to form a lifelong partnership” and she will “fight” for Kobe’s fans means that Nike fell short of her expectations.

Per ESPN, Nike presented Vanessa with a contract that “was not in line” with similar contracts they had offered comparable players, like Michael Jordan and LeBron James. So basically, Nike was trying to lowball Vanessa and the Bryant estate.

Insiders say that another reason that Vanessa declined to renew the partnership was because Nike was slacking on the Kobe line.

For a while now, customers have been struggling to find Kobe footwear products on the open market. Instead, they’ve been forced to buy the products at super-marked-up resell markets.

Also per ESPN: “Bryant and the estate had grown frustrated with Nike limiting the availability of Kobe products during his retirement and after his January 2020 death in a helicopter crash. There was also frustration with the lack of availability of Kobe footwear in kids’ sizes, according to sources.”

For the most part, Kobe fans rallied around Vanessa Bryant’s decision not to renew a partnership with Nike.

According to rumblings on Twitter, it appears that Nike was profiting off of Kobe Bryant’s death because of the large uptick in in sales after his death.

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