Los Angeles Lakers legend Kobe Bryant and his daughter Gianna died in a plane crash with seven other people in January, and there have been tons of tributes over the last nine months. And one of the ways fans are honoring the two is through their children. On Monday, BabyCenter released its most popular baby names list, and the names Kobe and Gianna have increased in a big way this year.
"Kobe shot up 175% after Kobe Bryant, one of the greatest basketball players of all time, lost his life in a tragic helicopter accident alongside his 13-year-old daughter, Gianna (up 216%)," BabyCenter wrote. Kobe is No. 216 on the list, moving up 379 spots; Gianna is listed at No. 24 and moves up 52 spots. The No. 1 girl's name is Sophia, and the No. 1 boy's name is Liam.
One of the biggest tributes done for Bryant and Gianna is a Celebration of Life event at the Staples Center in Los Angeles back in February. Bryant's wife and Gianna's mother, Vanessa, spoke at the event and sent messages.
"Gianna Bryant is an amazingly sweet and gentle soul," Vanessa said. "She was always thoughtful. She always kissed me goodnight and kissed me good morning. There were a few occasions where I was absolutely tired from being up with Bianka and Capri and I thought she had left for school without saying goodbye. I text and say 'No kiss?' and Gianna would reply with, 'Mama, I kissed you but you were asleep and I didn't want to wake you.'"
Vanessa also told Bryant to take care of Gianna amid herself caring for their daughters — Natalia, Bianka and Capri. "God knew they couldn't be on this earth without each other. He had to bring them home to him together," Vanessa stated. "Babe, you take care of our Gigi. And I got Nati, Bibi and Coco. 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." Bryant was a member of the Lakers from 1996-2016 and is considered one of the 10 best NBA history players. He led the team to five NBA Championships and was named NBA Finals MVP in 2009 and 2010.