Russell Wilson Shares Emotional Tribute to Kobe Bryant and GiGi: "There's Hope"

In a powerful video dedicated to Kobe Bryant and daughter Gianna, Russell Wilson credited the late NBA star for inspiring him and helping him keep his priorities in check.

By Ryan Gajewski Dec 30, 2020 4:08 AMTags
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Russell Wilson offered a heartfelt message of optimism and reflection after a pivotal moment in his professional life.

The NFL quarterback posted a video to Instagram on Tuesday, Dec. 29 of himself wearing a Kobe Bryant jersey and a pair of the "Grinch"-style Nikes that the NBA superstar had popularized. Next month will mark a year since Kobe and 13-year-old daughter Gianna Bryant died in a tragic helicopter crash. 

"Dear Kobe & GiGi... Thanks for being an inspiration. #Mamba #24 #8 #2," Russell captioned the somber tribute that began with him walking into the stadium, accompanied by orchestral music. The footage was recorded at Lumen Field, home to Russell's Seattle Seahawks, and the message came two days after his team clinched a spot in the playoffs by capturing the NFC West title with a hard-fought win over the Washington Football Team. 

"Your family means a lot to my family," Russell said about the late athlete who often referred to himself as Black Mamba. "We love you all. For this game, we had to bring the Mamba mentality."

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The 32-year-old eight-time Pro Bowler and husband to singer Ciara shared that Kobe was on his mind during the final play of Sunday's big game. Ciara and Kobe's widow, Vanessa Bryant, are close friends and posted photos over the weekend of their recent ski getaway in Montana

Rich Graessle/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images/Steve Granitz/WireImage

"This is what I really found out in 2020: Life is so much bigger than just this game," Russell continued. "It comes down to our family, it comes down to our loved ones, it comes down to grace, it comes down to how we treat each and how we love one another. And the one thing that I've found out and really understood in 2020 is, nothing's promised. Nothing's promised. The good thing is, there is hope. Hope lies in god, it lies in our faith, it lies in a new day."

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