Shine My Crown Read by Alexa
Vanessa Bryant congratulated the Los Angeles Lakers after they won their 17th NBA championship on Sunday night.
Bryant said she wished her late husband, Lakers legend Kobe Bryant, and their daughter, Gianna Bryant, could have been there to join the celebration.
“Congratulations Uncle P!” she wrote on her Instagram Story on Sunday, October 11, alongside a photo of Kobe and Lakers general manager Rob Pelinka. “Congratulations @lakers Kobe was right, RP! ‘Stay the course- blockout the noise.’ @kobebryant Wish Kobe and Gigi were here to see this.”
In an emotional gesture, Lakers general manager Rob Pelinka credited Kobe and Gianna’s spirit to the team’s win.
“Kobe and Gianna have guided this team the entire year. Kobe’s voice is always in my head. Always. Every day, every minute,” he told reporters.
“To be able to have a friend who changed my life and help me understand what greatness was about and what sacrifice was about, there’s not many greater gifts,” Pelinka said. “To be able to share this moment right now, knowing he and Gianna are looking down from heaven, and I know he’s a proud friend.”
Kobe and Gianna, 13, were killed in January along with seven others when their helicopter crashed in the Hollywood Hills due to heavy fog.
Kobe joined the Lakers in 1996 after graduating high school. He spent his entire 20-year career with the team before retiring in 2016 with five championship wins and two NBA Finals MVP Awards.
Daughter Gianna was a rising basketball star and wanted to play at the University of Connecticut.