US

Vanessa Bryant presents daughter with NBA legend’s Hall of Fame jacket ahead of Saturday’s induction

Natalia Bryant was front and center at the beginning of the Basketball Hall of Fame weekend, accepting her late father’s jacket during Friday’s celebration.

Natalia, 18, and mother Vanessa were given a ring in honor of Kobe Bryant at the Tip-Off Celebration and Awards Gala in Connecticut.

They also received a jacket, which Natalia was seen wearing along with the ring as her mother stood by her side. 

Kobe Bryant is being inducted into the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame in Springfield, Massachusetts on Saturday but also got his own stand-alone tribute called Kobe: A Basketball Life which Vanessa, 39, and her three children visited. 

Scroll down for video 

Vanessa Bryant, left, widow of Kobe Bryant, presents their daughter Natalia with Bryant’s Hall of Fame jacket at the 2020 Basketball Hall of Fame awards tip-off celebration and awards gala

Presenter Tony Parker, left, and Hall of Fame honoree Tim Duncan, second from left, glance over as Natalia Bryant, right, daughter of Kobe Bryant, stands on the stage

Presenter Tony Parker, left, and Hall of Fame honoree Tim Duncan, second from left, glance over as Natalia Bryant, right, daughter of Kobe Bryant, stands on the stage

Natalia, 18, and mother Vanessa were given a ring in honor of Kobe Bryant at the Tip-Off Celebration and Awards Gala in Connecticut

Natalia, 18, and mother Vanessa were given a ring in honor of Kobe Bryant at the Tip-Off Celebration and Awards Gala in Connecticut 

The induction comes a year behind schedule after the 2020 ceremony was postponed due to COVID-19. 

It was announced last month that Michael Jordan has been selected to induct Bryant into the NBA’s Hall of Fame on Saturday. 

The Chicago Bulls legend has told ESPN that he and Kobe were talking about tequila, family and basketball in their last text exchange, which Jordan can’t bring himself to delete. 

Michael Jordan is set to be the person who inducts Kobe Bryant into the HOF on Saturday

Michael Jordan is set to be the person who inducts Kobe Bryant into the HOF on Saturday 

Bryant (left) and Jordan (right) talk during a free-throw attempt during an old game

Bryant (left) and Jordan (right) talk during a free-throw attempt during an old game

‘This tequila is awesome,’ Jordan says Bryant texted him first.

‘Thank you, my brother,’ Jordan messaged back.

‘Yes, sir. Family good?’ Bryant replied.

‘All good. Yours?’

‘All good.’

Jordan added: ‘Happy holidays, and hope to catch up soon. Coach Kobe??!’

‘Ah, back at you, man,’ Bryant replied. ‘Hey, coach, I’m sitting on the bench right now, and we’re blowing this team out. 45-8.’

Vanessa Bryant also shared some sweet snaps of her youngest daughters visiting their late father’s exhibit at the Basketball Hall of Fame on Friday.

Capri, 22 months, and Bianka, 4, had huge smiles on their faces as they posed in front of iconic images and memorabilia from their father’s storied NBA career.   

Vanessa Bryant shared some sweet snaps of her youngest daughters visiting their late father Kobe's exhibit at the Basketball Hall of Fame

Vanessa Bryant shared some sweet snaps of her youngest daughters visiting their late father Kobe’s exhibit at the Basketball Hall of Fame

Capri, 22 months, and Bianka, 4, (pictured) had huge smiles on their faces as they posed in front of iconic images and memorabilia from their father's storied NBA career

Capri, 22 months, and Bianka, 4, (pictured) had huge smiles on their faces as they posed in front of iconic images and memorabilia from their father’s storied NBA career

This comes nearly a year and a half after Kobe and daughter Gianna - AKA Gigi - tragically died in a helicopter accident along with seven others on January 26, 2020, as the father and daughter are seen together in July 2018

This comes nearly a year and a half after Kobe and daughter Gianna – AKA Gigi – tragically died in a helicopter accident along with seven others on January 26, 2020, as the father and daughter are seen together in July 2018

This comes nearly a year and a half after Kobe and daughter Gianna – AKA Gigi – tragically died in a helicopter accident along with seven others on January 26, 2020. 

The two youngest honored their older sister Gigi by wearing the tie-dyed Mambacita-branded sweat suits which were recently released by Vanessa.

The athleisure was launched in conjunction with brand Dannijo, by Vanessa in honor of her late daughter Gianna and husband Kobe.  

Kobe is being inducted into the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame in Springfield, Massachusetts on Saturday but also got his own stand-alone tribute called Kobe: A Basketball Life which Vanessa, 39, and her three children visited

Kobe is being inducted into the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame in Springfield, Massachusetts on Saturday but also got his own stand-alone tribute called Kobe: A Basketball Life which Vanessa, 39, and her three children visited

Vanessa also shared an emotional photo - taken by eldest daughter Natalia, 18 - of herself with her eyes closed in front of a photo of Kobe at the exhibit

Vanessa also shared an emotional photo – taken by eldest daughter Natalia, 18 – of herself with her eyes closed in front of a photo of Kobe at the exhibit

After Kobe and Gigi's death, Vanessa thanked everyone who showed support and love to her and her family, sharing a sweet family photo

After Kobe and Gigi’s death, Vanessa thanked everyone who showed support and love to her and her family, sharing a sweet family photo

NBA star Kobe was nicknamed the Black Mamba, and his daughter earned the nickname Mambacita as she was a fledgling basketball star in her own right at the time of her death.

The 600-square-foot exhibit was co-designed by Vanessa as this is the first time something like this has happened since Jordan was inducted in 2009.

The immersive space will feature Kobe’s accomplishments on-and-off of the basketball court as there will be memorabilia including a portion of hardwood from his Lower Merion High School court which he played on and replicas of the five championship rings he won with the Los Angeles Lakers.

The 600-square-foot exhibit was co-designed by Vanessa as this is the first time something like this has happened since Michael Jordan - who will be joining Vanessa on stage to honor the late star at the Hall of Fame - was inducted in 2009

The 600-square-foot exhibit was co-designed by Vanessa as this is the first time something like this has happened since Michael Jordan – who will be joining Vanessa on stage to honor the late star at the Hall of Fame – was inducted in 2009

The immersive space will feature Kobe's accomplishments on-and-off of the basketball court as there will be tons of memorabilia from his storied career

The immersive space will feature Kobe's accomplishments on-and-off of the basketball court as there will be tons of memorabilia from his storied career

The immersive space will feature Kobe’s accomplishments on-and-off of the basketball court as there will be tons of memorabilia from his storied career

There are several jerseys and sneakers on display at the exhibit

There are several jerseys and sneakers on display at the exhibit

As if that wasn’t already enough there were several game-worn jerseys and even the Nike Kobe I sneakers which he scored 81-points wearing in January 2006.

His Oscar-winning animated short film Dear Basketball will also be on display.

Vanessa also shared an emotional photo – taken by eldest daughter Natalia – of herself with her eyes closed in front of a photo of Kobe at the exhibit.

One of the most epic displays featured an autographed jersey from early in Kobe's career along with five championship ring replicas and even the Nike Kobe I sneakers which he scored 81-points wearing in January 2006

One of the most epic displays featured an autographed jersey from early in Kobe’s career along with five championship ring replicas and even the Nike Kobe I sneakers which he scored 81-points wearing in January 2006

His Oscar-winning animated short film Dear Basketball will also be on display

His Oscar-winning animated short film Dear Basketball will also be on display

She captioned the image to her 14.7 million followers: ‘Love you always. [heart emoji] @kobebryant [camera emoji]: @nataliabryant’

Kobe – who will be inducted alongside rivals Kevin Garnett and Tim Duncan – is part of one of the most legendary Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame classes in history.

He has definitely earned the honor as he is considered one of the greatest basketball players of all-time as he lead the Los Angeles Lakers to five NBA championships including two NBA Finals MVPs and a single season MVP in 2008.

Kobe - who will be inducted alongside rivals Kevin Garnett (pictured) and Tim Duncan - is part of one of the most legendary Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame classes in history

Tim Duncan seen after winning the NBA Championship in June 2014

Kobe – who will be inducted alongside rivals Kevin Garnett and Tim Duncan – is part of one of the most legendary Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame classes in history

He has definitely earned the honor as he is considered one of the greatest basketball players of all-time as he lead the Los Angeles Lakers to five NBA championships including two NBA Finals MVPs and a single season MVP in 2008

He has definitely earned the honor as he is considered one of the greatest basketball players of all-time as he lead the Los Angeles Lakers to five NBA championships including two NBA Finals MVPs and a single season MVP in 2008

Kobe made the rare jump from the high school to the NBA in 1996 and had one of the most storied careers in the sport as an 18-time NBA All-Star, as he won four MVPS, and made 11 All-NBA first teams. 

Kobe met Vanessa in 1999 when she was 17 and was working as a background model on a music video. The couple got engaged six months later and married in 2001.  

Vanessa, Kobe, Gianna, and Natalia are pictured together from left to right at the Nickelodeon Kids' Choice Awards in Los Angeles back in July 2016

Vanessa, Kobe, Gianna, and Natalia are pictured together from left to right at the Nickelodeon Kids’ Choice Awards in Los Angeles back in July 2016

They welcomed daughters Natalia in 2003, Gianna in 2006, Bianka in 2016 and Capri in 2019.      

Kobe and daughter Gianna had been on their way to the Mamba Academy for basketball practice when their helicopter crashed at around 10am. The seven other people on board were also tragically killed.

The pilot – named locally as Ara Zobayan – was trying to turn the aircraft when it smashed into hills of Las Virgenes Canyon, which is home to celebrities including the Kardashians.

Orange Coast College baseball coach John Altobelli, his wife Kerry, and their daughter Alyssa were also among the dead.

Kobe Bryant celebrates after defeating the Orlando Magic in the 2009 NBA Finals

Kobe Bryant celebrates after defeating the Orlando Magic in the 2009 NBA Finals

Kobe Bryant and his daughter Gianna Bryant attend a basketball game on November 17, 2019

Kobe Bryant and his daughter Gianna Bryant attend a basketball game on November 17, 2019

Prior to his tragic death, Kobe had called Vanessa his 'Queen' and their daughters 'princesses' in a touching Instagram post to mark 20 years since they first met in November 2019

Prior to his tragic death, Kobe had called Vanessa his ‘Queen’ and their daughters ‘princesses’ in a touching Instagram post to mark 20 years since they first met in November 2019  


Source link

Related Articles

Back to top button