On April 13, 2016, Kobe Bryant played his last NBA game and officially retired to spend more time with his family. The Lakers and Nike named that day Mamba Day after his legendary “Mamba Out” speech.
She opened the tribute saying, “My husband worked his ass off for 20 years. Gave it his all. All he wanted was to spend time with our girls and me to make up for lost time. He wanted to be there for every single milestone and special moment in our girls lives. He only got to enjoy 3 years and 9 months of retirement.”
Vanessa continued: “We had 2 more daughters, he won an Oscar, he opened Granity studios, he became a 5x bestselling author and coached Gianna’s basketball team in that time. She worked hard and gave her all 7 days a week just like her daddy. I wish I could go back to that morning, every day. I wish they had a normal local game on 1/26. Life truly isn’t fair. This is just senseless.”
The caption to the post was raw and deep, but the five-minute video montage made the post even more emotional, showing excerpts of the last NBA game before his retirement where the 37-year-old scored 60 points with the 22 out of 50 shots he took.
Vanessa has been very open about the family’s grief with regards to the tragic helicopter crash that claimed the lives of her beloved husband and her 13-year-old girl Gianna, along with seven others on January 26. Her tenacity in the face of her demise has inspired and strengthened fans, who love and share in the “Mamba mentality.”
The family huddled up and recently celebrated their first major holiday, Easter, without their Mamba and Mambacita. She is trying to make life as normal as she can for the remaining three children, Natalia, 17, Bianka, 3, and Capri, 9 months, and shared photos on her Instagram as well.
The legacy left behind by Kobe Bryant will be hard to fill because he has left an indelible mark on earth, impacting many lives directly and indirectly. Mamba Day is worth celebrating more so now to honor this beloved NBA All-Star and family man.