Vanessa Bryant has done an amazing job in staying strong emotionally since the passing of her husband Kobe and daughter Gianna in a helicopter crash that also took seven other lives on January 26. The two were laid to rest in early February with the public memorial taking place on February 24 at the STAPLES Center in Los Angeles. This was fitting since Bryant won all five of his NBA titles while playing in this venue with the Lakers and had both his No. 8 and 24 retired there.
Vanessa recently changed her profile photo to her with her three daughters in front of a Kobe/Gigi memorial which has since lighted the hearts of everyone on social media. She also posted a photo to her Instagram of one of her daughters, Natalia. Natalia was standing in front of the mural prior to a winter formal she had. The mural displays Kobe and Gigi sitting next to each other while he kisses her on the head. A halo is also displayed above the two.
On the morning of January 26, Kobe and Gianna were set to fly to the Mamba Sports Academy. Gianna was going to play in a basketball game there while Kobe officiated it. Several of her teammates were onboard the helicopter as well. The crash occurred in Calabasas and several deputies and firefighters have been in serious trouble for taking photos of the crash site which included remains of all the victims. Weather conditions also played a role in why the helicopter should not have taken off that morning.
Los Angeles County Sheriff Alex Villanueva has since asked his department’s chief watchdog to watch over the investigation regarding the leaked crash site photos, per KTLA 5.
“I am requesting that the Office of the Inspector General immediately assign an investigator to our case for oversight and transparency purposes,” Villanueva said in a letter this week. “I believe early monitoring of the LASD investigation will ensure a high quality and comprehensive investigation that will enhance public trust and confidence in both organizations.”
Kobe and Gianna’s memorial service was beautiful as it was nationally televised. Vanessa, Michael Jordan, and Kobe’s former Lakers teammate Shaquille O’Neil were among the speakers. Jimmy Kimmel also spoke frequently as he introduced other speakers. The service also received powerful performances from Beyoncé and Christina Aguilera. Bey opened the show by performing hits such as “Halo” and Kobe’s favorite song of hers, “XO.” Expect more Kobe and Gigi tributes from all around the country moving forward with beautiful murals such as the one that Vanessa stood in front of with her daughters.