Vanessa Bryant is still mourning the loss of her husband Los Angeles Lakers legend Kobe Bryant and their daughter Gianna, but she is happy her sister-in-law, Sharia Washington is another year older. On Instagram, Bryant posted a photo of her daughter, Bianka, with Washington and wished her happy birthday, captioning the snapshot: "Happy birthday, Ria. Love you."
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Kobe and Gianna were killed in a helicopter crash on Jan. 26 along with seven other people. In February, there was a memorial service for Kobe and Gianna and the entire family attended including Washington and Kobe's mother, father, Sharia and his other sister Shaya Tabb. Other than Bryant, nobody from Kobe's family spoke at the service, but his former teammate, Shaquille O'Neal acknowledged the family during his speech.
"To Vanessa and the kids, Kobe's parents, sisters and the families who lost a loved one on that tragic day, we grieve with you," he said. "All of us were forever changed on January 26th."
Kobe's relationship with his sisters has been documented as it was reported he cut them off financially. However, all three remained close and there was a reason the five-time NBA champion made the move.
"They were able to get their own jobs, get their own lives, take care of themselves. Now they have a better sense of self, of who they are as people, instead of being resentful because they were relying on me," he admitted.
In 2016, Bryant wrote a column for The Player's Tribune and he talked about his relationship with his sisters.
"Purely giving material things to your siblings and friends may appear to be the right decision," he wrote. "You love them, and they were always there for you growing up, so it’s only right that they should share in your success and all that comes with it. So you buy them a car, a big house, pay all of their bills. You want them to live a beautiful, comfortable life, right?"
Bryant added: "But the day will come when you realize that as much as you believed you were doing the right thing, you were actually holding them back… Understand that you are about to be the leader of the family, and this involves making tough choices, even if your siblings and friends do not understand them at the time. Invest in their future, don’t just give."