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Remembering The Time Kobe Bryant Thanked Latino Fans For Supporting Him When He Arrived In Los Angeles

Kobe Bryant’s death has triggered a flood of love and tributes for the former Los Angeles Lakers player. The 41-year-old sports star died tragically on Jan. 26 in a helicopter crash in Calabasas, California. Let us take a moment to remember when the late basketball super star thanked his LA fans in Spanish after his last game.

Kobe Byrant played his final game as a Los Angeles Laker in April 2016. The then-37-year-old went out in style, scoring 60 points in a victory over the Utah Jazz. After the game, Kobe answered lots of questions from the press, including a few from Spanish language reporters.

Bryant spoke a little Español and thanked Latino fans in Los Angeles for welcoming him with open arms.

abrazaron
Credit: HOY Deportes Los Ángeles / Facebook

“When I arrived, [Latino fans] were the ones who embraced me the most.”

Bryant said he promised fans he would learn Spanish and he did (sort of):

unpoquito
Credit: HOY Deportes Los Ángeles / Facebook

“My Spanish isn’t very good, but I can speak it a bit.”

He also mentioned that three of his biggest fans are Latinas:

esposa
Credit: HOY Deportes Los Ángeles / Facebook

“Having a wife who is Latina is also significant… and my daughters, too.”

And he revealed what he hopes NBA players take from his career:

pasion
Credit: HOY Deportes Los Ángeles / Facebook

“That they have to play with lots of passion. Love this game. You have to love it.”

Watch the full video:

Kobe Bryant después de su último partidoKobe Bryant habló sobre la importancia de los fans latinos en su carrera y el legado que deja en la NBA #ThankYouKobe

Posted by HOY Deportes Los Ángeles on Thursday, April 14, 2016

Credit: HOY Deportes Los Ángeles / Facebook

WATCH: Neymar, Paul Rodriguez And Other Elite Athletes Open Up About The Influence Of Kobe Bryant

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

Entertainment

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

Christian Petersen / Getty Images

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 Shared The Sweetest Throwback Photo Of Kobe For Her Daughter Natalia’s 18th Birthday

Entertainment

Vanessa Bryant Shared The Sweetest Throwback Photo Of Kobe For Her Daughter Natalia’s 18th Birthday

Stephen Dunn / Getty

Life goes on.

Almost a year after her father Kobe Bryant passed, Natalia Bryant is gearing up for college and celebrating her life in progress. On Tuesday, to celebrate her daughter’s 18th birthday, Vanessa Bryant showered her daughter with tributes and words of wisdom in an Instagram post.

Vanessa posted a handful of tributes to Natalia on Instagram, including old photos of the 18-year-old her father, Kobe.

The late LA Laker, who died last year on Jan. 26 with his 13-year-old daughter (Gianna) and several others in a tragic helicopter crash, could be seen in the photos. In one of the images, Vanessa and Kobe held baby Natalia in an image taken on the Los Angeles Lakers court.

“Daddy’s little princess, Natalia. ❤️🎉🎂🎉#18#BirthdayGirl,” Bryant captioned one of the photos.

In another post, Vanessa expressed how proud she was of the woman Natalia has become.

“Mommy and Daddy are so proud of the young lady that you are. You have displayed so much strength and grace throughout the most difficult year of our lives,” she wrote in the post. “Thank you for stepping in to help me with your little sisters. You’re such an incredible big sister and a beautiful role model to so many people. Thank you for being kind, polite and gracious in everything that you do. You have no idea how happy and proud mommy and daddy are that you’re our daughter. We love you always and forever, forever and always. Happy 18th birthday to our first born, Natalia, our principessa!”

Last week, Bryant revealed that Natalia has college on the mind.

In a separate post shared to Instagram, Vanesa revealed that her daughter has New York on the mind when it comes to getting her Bachelor’s. “NYU is one of her top schools. (@nataliabryant chose not to apply ED to her top 5 schools). I will do my best to keep her in Cali just like I kept her daddy here,” she commented.

There’s no doubt that in the wake of her husband Kobe Bryant and daughter Gigi’s deaths, Vanessa Bryant and her family have received quite the outpour of support from fans. Look up just about any hashtag with their names and you’ll find hundreds of thousands of images of the two deceased Bryant family members and just about as many fan accounts. The images and tributes have meant to be a eulogy to the two basketball players that lost their lives too soon.

Yet, recently Vanessa Bryant revealed that the ongoing support hasn’t always been so positive for her.

In June, Vanessa Bryant opened up about having to take action and remove herself from all the social media love she and her family have received in the five months since her husband and daughter’s deaths.

https://www.instagram.com/p/CBbChSkBeuP/?utm_source=ig_embed

In a post to her Instagram page, the mother of four, sent a note to fans to let them know that she and her 17-year-old daughter, Natalia, had decided to block fan pages in an effort to keep away from the constant pictures of Kobe and Gianna popping up on their “Explore” pages. In her post, Bryant underlined that she was only blocking the accounts to make sure she was continuing to heal and that it was not being done out of malice.

“Thx so much for all the [love]. @nataliabryant and I have unfortunately had to block fan pages because it’s been really hard to go online and constantly see pics of our beloved Gigi and Kobe under every single square of our explore pages. Blocking the fan pages has helped change the algorithm,” Bryant wrote in a post to her Stories on Instagram.

Vanessa continued to explain that “We [love] you all but please understand that we had to do this for our own healing not because we don’t appreciate your [love].”

Bryant’s Instagram page was made to be private soon after her husband’s death likely for similar reasons.

In a separate Instagram story to her own account Vanessa’s daughter Natalia shared, “We hope that people understand although these fan pages have good intentions, they make moving forward harder since they are constant reminders. Blocking the accounts have helped change the algorithm but we can not go public until the fan pages stop. We love all of your sweet intentions and we hope you understand.” 

Understandably, Bryant and her daughter are sheltering themselves from further hurt during this time.

Here’s hoping their fans continue to support them through this decision and understand their motives. Fortunately, while Bryant and her daughter Natalia have made their accounts private, they are still making their content available through other pages. Recently, Bryant revealed that she had decided to pay tribute to her late husband and daughter Gigi by commemorating their lives with tattoos.

Last week, Bryant took to Instagram to reveal she’d made the decision to honor her husband and daughter with two new tattoos.

https://www.instagram.com/p/CBR38QADoyb/?utm_source=ig_embed

Both images were shared with the public via Nikko Hurtado, the artist behind Vanessa’s ink work.

“Shoutout to @nikkohurtado for coming over and helping me get my Gigi’s sweet message transferred on me,” she wrote in a caption to her Instagram page featuring a video of her new tattoo honoring her daughter. The details of the tattoo aren’t totally visible but in the comments, Bryant revealed that the tattoo features her late daughter’s handwriting. “So happy I can see my Gigi’s handwriting everyday ❤️ #mambacita,” she replied.

Bryant also shared a video of herself receiving another tattoo, this time for Kobe.

https://www.instagram.com/p/CBR3vpUjEOf/?utm_source=ig_embed

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.

For fans of the Bryants it’s important to note that while Vanessa and Natalia aren’t looking at fan accounts, the art is still available for you to view if it makes you feel better during this time.

Additionally, fans who want to keep up with Vanessa and Natalia and see how they continue to heal can follow friend accounts or stay in touch with us for updates!

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