On Sunday, basketball player Kobe Bryant’s wife Vanessa Bryant shared a picture of her oldest daughter Natalia headed off to attend a high school dance. The picture shows Natalia brightly smiling alongside a mural of her father and her late sister Gigi.
La La Anthony is opening up about her close relationship with Vanessa Bryant, whom she calls “family”.
In an interview with ET, the Puerto Rican actress and television personality talked about how her and Bryant are creating “life long bonds” between their children by having them spend quality time together. La La is mother to 13-year-old Kiyan Carmelo Anthony, while Bryant is mother to three daughters (Natalia, Bianka Bella, Capri Kobe).
Anthony has previous documented the two families hanging out together on social media.
She appears to have been spending a lot of time with Vanessa Bryant since Kobe Bryant passed away in January. She even posted an adorable TikTok video of the two of them doing the “Don’t React Challenge” where they listen to old school hits and try not to dance or move to the music. Fans were overjoyed to see Vanessa smiling and laughing again.
La La said that having her son spend time with Vanessa’s kids is “one of the most important parts” of their friendship. “They [the kids] look at themselves as cousins and they do a lot together,” she said. “Kiyan’s the oldest, but all the kids look up to Kiyan.” She went on to explain how Bryant’s kids are always calling Kiyan for advice and support.
La La got deep when she talked about how deeply the two women’s lives are intertwined.
“I’ve been a part of [Vanessa’s children’s] lives from before they were even thought of, so just to continue to be a part of their journey is amazing, to be Auntie La La and to always be there for them no matter what is an amazing thing and responsibility that I don’t take lightly,” she says.
She continued by saying, “That’s my family and that’s what it’s always gonna be. I’m always [going to have] their best interests at heart no matter what.”
This isn’t the first time La La has gotten candid about her relationship with Vanessa. Back in September, La La explained how much of an honor it is to be able to be part of Vanessa’s support system in the difficult months after her husband and her daughter’s deaths.
“You don’t dip out on your friends when it gets really hard,” she told ET. “And she’s going through something that is unimaginable, that I can’t even fathom what that feels like.”
“Just to be a friend and be there to make her laugh when she needs to, cry when she needs to, is a beautiful thing,” she continued. “But that’s what friends do for each other. I’m always going to be there for her and the girls and just want to see her just continue to be strong and amazing.”
Over nine months have passed since basketball great Kobe Bryant lost his life alongside his daughter Gigi and seven others in a helicopter crash in Calabasas, California.
In the months since his death, fans have paid tribute to the former shooting guard who left behind three other daughters and his wife Vanessa and watched as his family has slowly attempted to pick up the pieces of their lives without them. Since then, they’ve celebrated holidays and their own birthdays. But holidays like Halloween present unique challenges, since they’re so focused on family.
However, leave it to Vanessa Bryant to show us what true resilience looks like. Over the weekend, she and her family celebrated Halloween in the best way possible and we’re living for their joy.
It’s official: they win Halloween!
Although it’s been a turbulent year – to say the least – for the Bryant family, Vanessa once again showed us all just how powerful and resilient she is by putting together an adorable family photoshoot to celebrate Halloween. Even though it’s the first Halloween without Kobe and Gianna Bryant, the family were all smiles.
Together as a family, they did a double photoshoot for Halloween this year that featured two sets of matching costumes between Vanessa and the three girls – the themes being Madeline (the beloved and popular children’s book series) and a Halloween classic, Star Wars.
The get-together seemed like a pretty joyous event, but of course the shadow of Kobe and Gigi still loom large, which makes the shoot pretty heart-breaking at the same time. Like we mentioned, this marks the first Halloween without them around — and yet, the Bryants carried on with the family tradition of dressing up like champs.
For their Matilda photoshoot, the family pulled out all the stops.
So many of us grew up reading and watching Matilda, so this is an awesome idea for a Halloween costume. For their adorable photoshoot, Mama Bryant dressed up as the boarding school teacher, Miss Clavel, while Natalia and her baby sisters, Bianka and Capri, donned the traditional uniform of Madeline and her classmates, from the house in Paris covered in vines.
Needless to say, they look incredible, almost like they were torn right out of the page. It’s crazy, because this is actually more realistic and faithful to the illustrations than the live action movie from the ’90s.
Their Star Wars shoot was a total blast to the past.
For their take on Star Wars, the family channeled some of the film’s most popular characters. Vanessa was a shorter version of Darth Vader, Natalia was a much taller version of BB8 — and the two little ones were a Storm Trooper and an Ewok, respectively. These outfits were like the family-friendly ones you might find at a Target or something, which played well for the camera.
Of course, their Halloween celebrations were not the only touching and heartwarming firsts that they have had since the death of Kobe and Gianna.
On May 5, Vanessa celebrated her first birthday since the tragic deaths of her husband and daughter. She turned 38 years old.
In June, the family celebrated their youngest member, Capri’s first birthday. Vanessa penned a touching heartfelt tribute to celebrate the special day, which came five months after their loss.
Vanessa has also tried to keep the memory of her loved ones alive with a heartfelt tattoo. In a post to her Instagram page, Bryant shared another video of herself. This time the video revealed that she was actively receiving a shoulder tattoo that is meant to honor her husband.
“I wanted my boo boo’s @kobebryant sweet message transferred on me,” Bryant explained in the caption of the photo.
The year has been a turbulent one for the Bryants, and fans are delighted to see that they are healing and finding their own ways to be happy together.