Kobe Bryant and his wife Vanessa Bryant were together for nearly 20 years. Because they were very young when they got married, they received some backlash from family members, but remained together through thick and thin. On the heels of his celebration of life service this week, a video from 2001 resurfaced showing Kobe talking about his relationship with Vanessa.
"You know, it's hard to pinpoint what exactly makes a person the one for you, but you just know," he told MTV News at the time when asked what made Vanessa the one. "I mean, love is a funny thing. I can't explain it and I don't understand it. But all I know is she caught my heart and I just knew that she was the one.
Kobe Bryant's heartwarming words about his wife Vanessa in 2001. ❤️
(via mtvnews) pic.twitter.com/ahED5R1Kiy— Basketball Forever (@Bballforeverfb) February 28, 2020
Kobe went on to say that, "Vanessa, she's very strong. She's very strong-willed."
At that time, Kobe and Vanessa didn't have any kids. But when he was asked about their future, the Los Angeles Lakers legend said: "I see us as being two cool-ass parents. Young parents, full of energy. She has a ton of energy and I have a ton of energy."
Bryant, who died in a helicopter crash along with his daughter Gianna and seven other people on Jan. 26, was right about Vanessa's strength. During the memorial earlier this week, Vanessa spoke to the crowd and sent a message to her husband and daughter.
"God knew they couldn't be on this earth without each other. He had to bring them home to him together," she said through tears. "Babe, you take care of our Gigi. And I got Nati, BB and Koko. We're still the best team. We love and miss you, Boo Boo and Gigi. May you both rest in peace and have fun in heaven until we meet again one day. We love you both and miss you. Forever and always. Mommy."
She also talked about the type of person Kobe was and how she viewed him.
"I couldn't see him as a celebrity, nor as an incredible basketball player. He was my sweet husband and the beautiful father of our children. He was mine. He was my everything," Vanessa said. "... He would do anything for me. I have no idea how I deserved a man that loved and wanted me more than Kobe. He was charismatic, a gentleman. He was loving, adoring and romantic."