The death of basketball icon Kobe Bryant is still rocking the sports world today. For his children, it means they won’t have their father around for many major moments. Bryant’s 11-month old daughter Capri would’ve made him proud by taking her first steps.
Walk The Walk
On Instagram, Vanessa Bryant shared a video of Capri walking for the first time. “So proud of my Koko Bean. Capri took her first steps from her auntie Sophie to mama today,” Vanessa said on Instagram. The video has generated seven million views with over two million likes. Capri, who was born on June 21, 2019, was Bryant‘s fourth daughter. Before Bryant’s death, the athlete was looking forward to possibly having a son. Vanessa, however, had a stronger aspiration to have a boy. Before Capri’s birth, Kobe told US Weekly: “I love having girls — I’m super, super excited about that. She [Vanessa] is as well. She wanted a boy so he can be mama’s boy forever — that sort of thing. We’ll see if I can deliver, I don’t know.”
It’s All About Respect
Following Bryant’s death, tributes poured in for the acclaimed basketball player. Two days after Bryant’s death, the Lakers held a game against Trail Blazers. While most games at the Staples Center are extraordinary, this game was special. Many people tried to get tickets to be a part of history. Boyz II Men, Usher, Wiz Khalifa, and Charlie Puth came together to give Bryant a send-off. At halftime, Khalifa and Puth performed “See You Again,” which is a tribute to actor Paul Walker. The emotional game was watched by 4.41 million viewers. This became the second most-watched NBA game in ESPN history. The most-watched NBA game on the cable channel also belongs to Bryant. This game was the January 2003 matchup between the Lakers and the Houston Rockets with 4.88 million viewers.
At the NBA All-Star Game, Team LeBron and Team Giannis delivered a touching tribute to their friend. Team LeBron wore jersey number two, which paid respect to Bryant’s daughter Gianna. Team Giannis wore Bryant’s jersey number. Throughout the game, Ludacris, Common, and Jennifer Hudson gave tributes.
Photo Courtesy: [Robbie Dale/Wikimedia]
The Mamba Is Forever
While Bryant is gone, many of his projects will still carry on. In March, Bryant’s fourth novel The Wizenard Series: Season One was released posthumously. This book follows a young basketball player traversing in a magical world. Bryant started co-writing young adult novels in 2019 through Granity Studios. Bryant’s first novel The Wizenard Series: Training Camp dealt with a coach using magic to transform his failing team.
Bryant’s death also delivered a crucial blow to his training facility. Formerly known as The Mamba Sports Academy, the facility changed its name back to The Sports Academy. The change was done out of respect for the deceased athlete. In 2018, Bryant had become a partner of the facility. The Sports Academy is one of the premier training spots for professional athletes in California.
Bryant was slated to be in the Naismith Basketball Hall of Fame this year. Unfortunately, the coronavirus epidemic forced them to postpone the ceremony until next spring. The NBA had plans to move it to October, but they chose to play it safe. Bryant easily led the Hall of Fame class, which also features Tim Duncan and Kevin Garnett. Bryant got into the Hall of Fame in his first year of eligibility. One person who might avoid the ceremony is former teammate Shaquille O’Neal. Watching the ceremony will leave O’Neal an emotional mess. “It would be great if his wife [Vanessa] gave a speech or his mom or dad give a speech but I’ll see that afterwards. I’m not gonna watch the ceremony,” O’Neal said on The Big Podcast with Shaq. When the ceremony does happen, you can expect emotions to be running wild during Bryant’s induction.
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