On The Anniversary Of Kobe Bryant’s Retirement, Vanessa Shares An Emotional Message

Photo: Kevork Djansezian/Getty Images.
Today marks the four-year anniversary of Kobe Bryant’s retirement from the NBA, and the memory of one of the most monumental moments in her husband’s career is inspiring Vanessa Bryant to reflect on the legacy that he left behind.
Kobe was drafted to the Los Angeles Lakers in 1996, and for 20 consecutive years, he dominated the NBA as the team’s shooting guard. Known throughout the league for his discipline as much as his talent, Kobe earned a reputation for being the best of the best, even winning the love and respect of the undisputed fellow gods of basketball Michael Jordan and LeBron James.
Four years ago today, Kobe officially retired from basketball after leading the Lakers to victory in a game against the Utah Jazz. It was an emotional moment for the athlete as well as his fans, but it wouldn’t be the last shining moment of his career. Bryant would go on to launch a successful venture capital firm and production studio, make a movie (and win an Oscar for it), and write several New York Times bestsellers. Most importantly, Kobe was able to make up the time away from his family that he had lost in those 20 years on the court.
Today, his wife Vanessa is recalling her life with the basketball star, who was killed in a tragic helicopter accident in January along with their daughter Gianna and seven others. Vanessa shared a throwback clip of Kobe's last NBA game and the special ceremony that followed, along with an emotional caption.
"My husband worked his ass off for 20 years," Vanessa wrote. "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," the caption continued. "We had 2 more daughters, he won an Oscar, he opened Granity studios, he became a 5x best selling 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."
Vanessa also shared that although she wants to be positive for Natalia, Bianka, and Capri on, the "senseless"pain of losing Kobe and Gianna was still heavy on her heart. "I wish I could back to that morning, every day," Vanessa closed. "I wish they had a normal local game on 1/26. Life truly isn’t fair."
The sports world is also thinking of Kobe. Just last week, the late athlete was inducted into the NBA Hall of Fame, a testament to his years of diligence and natural talent. He and the others in the 2020 induction class — including Tim Duncan, Kevin Garnett, and Tamika Catchings — will be honored in a special ceremony tentatively set to take place in August.

More from Pop Culture

R29 Original Series