Vanessa Bryant and her three daughters were not in attendance at Staples Center on Friday night as the Los Angeles Lakers played their first game since the death of Kobe Bryant and daughter Gianna.
But they were very much in the thoughts of those who attended the game to pay their respects to the five-time NBA champion and 18-time All-Star who spent his entire career in purple and gold and the 13-year-old girl who wanted to follow in his footsteps.
Vanessa Bryant posted a photo of the two empty courtside seats the Lakers had draped with jerseys — a No. 24 for Kobe and a No. 2 for Gianna, an AAU player who loved the University of Connecticut Huskies.
She captioned it: “There is no #24 without #2. #GirlDaddy #DaddysGirl #MyBabies #OurAngels”
Her Instagram story showed a spectacular sunset with purple and gold heart emojis underneath.
LeBron James made his first public comments since Sunday’s helicopter crash on a hillside in Calabasas, California, claimed the lives of nine people, en route to an AAU basketball game at the Mamba Sports Complex.
James spoke after a moving video of Kobe speaking about his love of basketball, Laker Nation and family.
“Everybody that’s here is, this really, truly, truly a family, and I know Kobe and Gianna and Vanessa and everybody thank you guys from the bottom of their hearts as Kobe said,” James said.
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