Vanessa Bryant knew right from the start that Kobe Bryant was the one. On Friday, the late NBA star’s widow celebrated the 21st anniversary of when she and Kobe met. Vanessa posted a sweet photo of her and the former Los Angeles Laker hugging at Disneyland. “Love at first sight 11/27/99 #21,” she captioned the Instagram post. Kobe and Vanessa got married in 2001 and had four daughters together, Natalia, 17, Gianna, 13, Bianka, 3, and Capri, 1.
The athlete and Gianna tragically died in a helicopter crash alongside seven others in January. Last year, Kobe also reflected on the day he met his “best friend,” posting a throwback pic along with the Disneyland snap. “On this day 20 years ago I met my best friend, my Queen @vanessabryant,” he captioned his post. “I decided to take her on a date to Disneyland tonight to celebrate old school style (pre 4princesses) I love you my mamacita per sempre.”
Ever since Kobe and Gianna’s death, Vanessa has been honoring her husband and daughter in many ways. Last month, she got her family’s names tattooed on her foot, starting with Kobe, then her own name, then the names of their daughters — Natalia, Gianna, Bianka and Capri. ET spoke with Vanessa’s good friend La La Anthony about being by her side after her heartbreaking loss.
“Well, you know, I’m a real friend, that’s what friends do,” Anthony told ET in September about her support for Vanessa. “You know, you don’t dip out on your friends when it gets really hard. And she’s going through something that is unimaginable, that, you know, I can’t even fathom what that feels like.
So, just to be a friend and be there to make her laugh when she needs to, cry when she needs to, is a beautiful thing. But that’s what friends do for each other, you know, so I’m always going to be there for her and the girls and just, you know, want to see her just continue to be strong and amazing.”