On Monday, Aug. 23, what would have been the basketball legend's 43rd birthday, Vanessa took to social media to honor Kobe's legacy. Alongside a photo of the couple kissing after the Lakers' 2000 NBA Championship win, Vanessa wrote, "Happy birthday, Papi." She also added, "Te Amo por siempre. Amor eterno," which, translated to English, means, "I love you forever. Eternal love."
It's been just over a year since Kobe died in a helicopter crash alongside his 13-year-old daughter, Gianna Bryant, and seven others. Since that time, Vanessa, along with daughters Natalia, 18, Bianka, 4, and Capri, 2, have continued to honor Kobe and Gigi.
For Father's Day in June, Vanessa posted a throwback photo of their family. "To the best girl dad. Happy Father's Day, Papi," she captioned the post. "We love you forever and always, always and forever. Love you always, Nani, Gigi, B.B, Koko and VB."
Weeks prior, Vanessa delivered a moving speech at Kobe's posthumous induction into the Basketball Hall of Fame. "This means so much to us," she began. "I used to always avoid praising my husband in public because I felt like he got enough praise from his fans. Along the road, someone had to bring him back to reality."
"Right now, I am sure he is laughing in heaven because I'm about to praise him in public for his accomplishments on one of the most public stages," she continued. "I can see him now, arms folded, with a huge grin saying, 'Isn't this some s--t?!'"
Vanessa went on to note that she wished Kobe could be there to accept the award. "He and Gigi deserve to be here to witness this," she said. "Gigi would be so proud to watch her daddy get enshrined into the Basketball Hall of Fame. I know he was looking forward to being here."
"He was so happy," she recalled. "He didn't really talk about upcoming awards, but he did mention this one a week before he and Gigi passed."
Before concluding her speech, Vanessa reflected on Kobe's role as a father. "His most cherished accomplishment was being the very best girl dad," she said. "I want to thank him for somehow finding ways to dedicate time to not only being an incredible athlete, a visionary, entrepreneur, and storyteller but for also being an amazing family man."