“I was talking with my younger son who’s 20 and you just realize that you have to take the time. With yoga — as much as it’s physical, that’s my way of slowing down time. I’m old enough to have lost some people in my life and collectively as a society, we experienced the shock [of Kobe’s death]. The thing you can’t get back is the time with the people you love. The sense of taking time with the people you love is important,” she explained to us.
Kobe, his 13-year-old daughter Gianna, and seven others were killed when the helicopter they were riding in slammed into a Calabasas, CA hillside in foggy weather on Jan. 26, 2020. They had been en route from Orange County to Kobe’s Mamba Sports Academy in Thousand Oaks, CA when the tragedy occurred. It became a heartbreaking reminder of how fragile life is and how suddenly it can come to an end.
Kobe’s wife Vanessa, 37, has had to endure the double tragedy of losing both her husband of nearly 20 years and one of her four daughters. Now she and Natalia, 17, Bianka, 3, and Capri, seven months, have to live the rest of their days without two precious loved ones. Vanessa’s processed some of her grief via Instagram. She posted a photo of a smiling Kobe on Feb. 5 and wrote, “Miss you so much. #handsome #sweet #funny #silly #lovinghusband ❤️Miss you saying, “Bonjourno principessa/reina.” She also called him “#mybestfriend #theBestdaddy.”
Later that day she shared videos from Gianna’s memorial at her school, where they retired her basketball jersey. Next to a photo from the tribute she wrote, “My Gianna. God I miss you. I’ve been so lucky to have woken up to see your gorgeous face and amazing smile for 13 years. Wish it would’ve been until my last breath. Mommy loves you to the moon and back. Infinity plus 1. #2 #Mambacita #GigiBryant ❤️.”
Kobe Bryant’s Jersey to be Displayed at Smithsonian’s African American Museum (Video)
*Shortly before the National Museum of African American History and Culture opened to the public in 2016, Kobe Bryant was granted a private tour through its sports gallery, thanks to his $1-million donation. He eventually handed over some of his own memorabilia, including a Los Angeles Lakers uniform and a pair of shoes that he wore during the 2008 NBA Finals.
Those items had not yet made it into the museum’s gallery, but after Bryant’s sudden death in a helicopter crash in January, which also killed his daughter Gianna Bryant, the museum said Monday it has decided to display his jersey. It was set to hit the museum floor in March, but the pandemic delayed those plans…until now.
NMAAHC reopened to the public in September. Bryant’s jersey, which he wore during Game 5 of the 2008 NBA Finals, will be on display starting Wednesday on the third floor of the museum in a gallery called “Sports: Leveling the Playing Field.”
Damion L. Thomas, the museum’s sports curator, who walked with Bryant through the gallery in 2016, said that part of the reasoning for displaying Bryant’s jersey was that after Bryant’s death, he had been seeing visitors congregate by a photo of him that was up in the gallery.
“People were coming and taking pictures there and sharing stories about Kobe,” Thomas said. “It became a place for people to grieve and commune.”
The Journal of Steffanie Rivers: Kobe Bryant’s In-Laws Fighting Over His Money
*There’s a lot of conversation in the Black community about using our collective power to demand what’s rightfully owed to us.
Whether that comes in the form of monetary reparations from the federal government, using our political power to pass favorable legislation and to stop legalized genocide done by bully, liar, killer cops. Most of the time the conversation focuses on getting what’s owed to us!
What about millionaire Black people who create generational wealth, but get involved in interracial marriages? Marrying the wrong person can be just as detrimental as never creating wealth.
When NBA legend Kobe Bryant was killed last January in a helicopter crash with eight other people – one of those people being his 13-year-old daughter, Gianna – I had planned to wait a respectful amount of time before I mentioned the fact that Kobe’s multi-million dollar empire was going to be under the control of his Latina wife, Vanessa, after his death. The chance of the wealth he created as a professional athlete and a successful businessman after he retired being used to improve the Black community went from slim to none, because of who he chose to marry.
Due to the corona-virus pandemic I forgot about it. Then came recent news about the family feud between Kobe’s widow and his mother-in-law over that multi-million dollar empire Bryant left behind after his unexpected death.
Kobe’s mother in law, Sophia Laine, did a videotaped interview accusing her daughter, Kobe’s widow, of throwing her out of the house and re-possesing the car they had gifted her. Vanessa claimed, for the past 20 years she and Kobe had been paying her mother a monthly stipend, paid for an apartment for her mom to live in and a car for her mom to drive. But let’s be clear about one thing: Whatever money Vanessa’s mom was living on was Kobe’s money. A Black man’s money!
When Kobe met Vanessa she was still in high school. They met on the set of a video shoot. He already was a pro-baller, about 20 years old. When they got married she was fresh out of high school – not college – high school! She went from her mother’s house to Kobe’s mansion.
Although Vanessa’s mom might have approved of her teen-aged daughter marrying a Black man with millions of dollars, Kobe’s parents did not approve. At 21, Kobe’s parents, Joe and Patricia Bryant, thought he was too young for marriage. And they did it without a prenuptial agreement. She had nothing to offer him but a cute face and a slim waist. He had, well, everything to offer her. That’s not to say she was a gold digger, because Gold diggers come in all cultures and colors. I don’t know either of them personally.
I just want us to keep in mind that when we become fortunate enough to create enough money that can be considered as generational wealth, we should be more discriminate about who we marry and who we have babies with. Kobe and Vanessa had four children together.
Even though they were married for about 20 years before he was killed. Kobe’s relationship with his parents became distant after he married Vanessa. That probably turned out to be detrimental to Kobe in his remaining years, and it possibly kept Vanessa from having a better respect for African-American culture and the importance of generational wealth in our community. It’s the consequence of committing to inter-racial relationships.
And if you’re someone with celebrity status you have to ask yourself if your significant other wants you for what you have or for who you are? If you’re unsure keep looking. If you are serious about created generational wealth for your family or your community make sure your significant other feels the same way and will respect your wishes once you pass on.
Steffanie Rivers is a freelance journalist living in the Dallas-Ft. Worth metroplex. Email her at [email protected] with comments, questions or speaking inquiries. Friend her on Facebook/StefanieRivers. Follow her on Twitter @tcbstef and on [email protected]
Vanessa Bryant Sues LA Sheriff Over Leaked Photos At Copter Crash Site
*Back in May, Vanessa Bryant filed a claim against the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department for allegedly sharing unauthorized photos of the scene of the Jan. 26 helicopter crash that killed her husband, Kobe Bryant their daughter Gianna, and seven others.
In her claim, she alleged that Sheriff Alex Villanueva personally assured her that deputies were securing the crash site to ensure her privacy, the Los Angeles Times reported.
“In reality, however, no fewer than eight sheriff’s deputies were at the scene snapping cell-phone photos of the dead children, parents, and coaches,” the claim states, according to the Times. “As the department would later admit, there was no investigative purpose for deputies to take pictures at the crash site. Rather, the deputies took photos for their own personal purposes.”
According to an update by TMZ, Vanessa has officially filed to sue the L.A. County Sheriff and his department, claiming they caused her severe emotional distress when deputies took those graphic photos and shared them with colleagues that had NO investigative purpose — which eventually made its way online.
The lawsuit also notes how the photos were exposed; when a deputy was at a bar and showed the photos to a woman he was trying to impress. The bartender heard the conversation, and called the sheriff’s department.
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HU Staff: Kecia Gayle Kecia.Kae Back in May, Vanessa Bryant filed a claim against the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department for allegedly sharing unauthorized photos of the scene of the Jan. 26 helicopter crash that killed her husband, Kobe Bryant their daughter Gianna, and seven others. In her claim, she alleged that Sheriff Alex Villanueva personally assured her that deputies were securing the crash site to ensure her privacy, the Los Angeles Times reported. __________________________________________________ “In reality, however, no fewer than eight sheriff’s deputies were at the scene snapping cell-phone photos of the dead children, parents, and coaches,” the claim states, according to the Times. “As the department would later admit, there was no investigative purpose for deputies to take pictures at the crash site. Rather, the deputies took photos for their own personal purposes.” __________________________________________________ According to an update by TMZ, Vanessa has officially filed to sue the L.A. County Sheriff and his department, claiming they caused her severe emotional distress when deputies took those graphic photos and shared them with colleagues that had NO investigative purpose — which eventually made its way online. The lawsuit also notes how the photos were exposed; when a deputy was at a bar and showed the photos to a woman he was trying to impress. The bartender heard the conversation, and called the sheriff’s department. ___________________________________________________ Read more at hollywoodunlocked.com 📸: Getty Images __________________________________________________ If you have a tip or suggestion, or want to talk to us about this story, Text the word “TIP” to 1-310-388-6463
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