For the first time, Vanessa Bryant is celebrating her wedding anniversary without her husband, former Los Angeles Lakers great Kobe Bryant, who tragically died alongside their daughter Gianna and eight others in a January helicopter crash. Vanessa took to Instagram to commemorate the day she long shared with her “king.”
“My king, my heart, my best friend,” wrote Bryant, a 37-year-old mother of three. “Happy 19th wedding anniversary baby. I miss you so much. I wish you were here to hold me in your arms. I love you.”
The two met on a music video set in 1999 and married on April 18, 2001. The year of the Bryant’s marriage, MTV News asked Kobe about what made Vanessa “the one.” His response prompted an Instagram post from Vanessa 19 years later, this Saturday.
“It’s hard to pinpoint exactly what makes a person the one for you, but you just know,” said Bryant, who spent his entire 20-year career with the Lakers. “I mean, love is a funny thing. I can’t explain it and I don’t understand it. But all I know is…she caught my heart and I just knew she was the one.”
Bryant, a five-time NBA champion and 2008 league MVP, was selected to the James Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame this year, in his first year of eligibility. Tim Duncan and Kevin Garnett join Bryant in the star-studded 2020 class.
On Friday Gianna Bryant, who aspired to reach basketball stardom like her father, earned an honor of our own. The WNBA named Gianna along with two of her teammates that were also killed in the helicopter crash honorary draftees.
“It would have been a dream for her,” Vanessa Bryant said on ESPN during the draft. “She wanted to be one of the greatest athletes of all time, just like her daddy.”