While tributes have been pouring in for Kobe Bryant following the news of his death on Sunday, Jennifer Lopez’s thoughts are with his wife, Vanessa. The basketball legend’s oldest daughter, 13-year-old Gianna died in the helicopter crash with him, but he leaves behind three other girls — Natalia, 17, Bianka 3, and Capri, 7 months.
Lopez posted a gallery of photos of Kobe, his family, and herself and Alex Rodriguez with them.
“Family. As I scrolled through Kobe’s feed, and Alex and I talk memories and moments we remember about him … this is the truth that rings out the loudest … family is what matters most,” Lopez’s caption read. “We are all feeling sadness from this loss, but all I can think of is that it is a grain of sand compared to what Vanessa must going through right now. I am sending all of my love and praying for you, your children and the other families involved in today’s tragic turn of events.
“The most unfair thing in life is to lose a child and husband on the same day,” she continued. “Vanessa, I pray for your strength and that God guides you each step of the way through this unimaginable heartbreak. To the other families who are suffering from this unthinkable tragedy, may God be with you all. Kobe you meant so much to so many and we will miss you forever. Thank you for your work ethic, your inspiration and your heart. #hero #legend #husband #father”
The helicopter was traveling to Bryant’s Mamba Basketball Academy when it went down in what has been described as heavy fog.
There other victims were Gianna’s teenage teammates Alyssa Altobelli and Payton Chester, Altobelli’s parents John and Keri Altobelli, Chester’s mother Sarah Chester, girls’ basketball coach Christina Mauser and pilot Ara Zobayan.
NBA commissioner Adam Silver released a statement following the tragic news.
“The NBA family is devastated by the tragic passing of Kobe Bryant and his daughter, Gianna. For 20 seasons, Kobe showed us what is possible when remarkable talent blends with an absolute devotion to winning. He was one of the most extraordinary players in the history of our game with accomplishments that are legendary: five NBA championships, an NBA MVP award, 18 NBA All-Star selections, and two Olympic gold medals,” he wrote.
“But he will be remembered most for inspiring people around the world to pick up a basketball and compete to the very best of their ability,” Silver continued. “He was generous with the wisdom he acquired and saw it as his mission to share it with future generations of players, taking special delight in passing down his love of the game to Gianna. We send our heartfelt condolences to his wife, Vanessa, and their family, the Lakers organization and the entire sports world.”