On Feb. 14, the 40-year-old shared a throwback picture of herself and the basketball legend in honor of Valentine's Day. In the caption of the snapshot, which showed the pair smiling as they cuddled up in a garden, Vanessa wrote, "Happy Valentine's Day Boo-Boo."
She added alongside a heart emoji, "Forever & Always."
The touching tribute comes more than three years after Kobe's death. The NBA star passed away along with his and Vanessa's 13-year-old daughter, Gianna "Gigi" Bryant, and seven other people in a January 2020 helicopter crash in Calabasas, Calif.
Since the tragedy, Vanessa has worked to continue Kobe's legacy. In addition to her involvement in the Mamba & Mambacita Sports Foundation, a non-profit baring Kobe and Gianna's nicknames, the mom continues to share memories of the late athlete with their other three daughters: Natalia, 20, Bianka, 6, and Capri, 3.
Last year, the family traveled to Italy to visit where Kobe grew up. "Visited Reggio Calabria," Vanessa captioned a July 18 post on Instagram. "a city my husband lived in when he was about 8 years old."
In August, the matriarch marked what would've been Kobe's 44th birthday by sharing a snapshot from his 2009 NBA Championship win. "Happy birthday, baby!" she wrote in the caption. "I love you and miss you so much! #44."
"It was my nickname growing up," she told the outlet in December. "All my jerseys said 'Slim'—I didn't grow into the jerseys until I was older, so my dad always called me 'Slim.'"
Natalia noted at the time that she also pairs the piece of jewelry with a medallion from the Mamba & Mambacita Sports Foundation. "It says 'Dedication makes dreams come true,'" she said. "It's a quote from my dad, and it's something I live by."
Keep reading to see how other celebs are marking Valentine's Day this year.