Sunday afternoon, families around the world celebrated Father's Day. Vanessa Bryant was not able to enjoy the holiday due to her husband, Kobe Bryant, dying in a helicopter crash on Jan. 26. Instead, she posted a heartwarming tribute to the late Los Angeles Lakers star on social media.
Bryant posted a photo on her Instagram that showed Kobe posing with his four daughters. She called him the "best daddy in the world" and said that the family misses him so much. Bryant signed the post from herself and her four daughters, including Gianna who also died in the helicopter crash. She has since made her profile private in order to avoid constantly seeing reminders of her loved ones' deaths.
Vanessa Bryant shared on her Instagram a heartfelt post to Kobe ♥️ pic.twitter.com/hzlzJeCDfd— Sports Illustrated (@SInow) June 21, 2020
"We all miss Kobe, A loving father, husband and mentor. That is what I remember him!!" one fan commented. Several others responded by discussing how much they miss the former NBA star in the months since he died. Others simply said that this tribute was too much for their emotions.
Bryant recently faced allegations from social media users that believed she is "milking" the deaths of her loved ones. The fans didn't believe this to be the case and strongly came to her defense. They said that she is completely allowed to take as much time to mourn their deaths as she needs.
"People have the AUDACITY to say Vanessa Bryant is milking Gigi and Kobe's death. she buried her husband and daughter. do you expect her to get over it so soon.. [what the f—]?" one fan commented. Several others agreed with this sentiment and said that Bryant should continue posting tributes to her loved ones in the future.
Since their deaths in the helicopter crash, Bryant has posted several throwback photos from her life with Kobe. This includes celebrating their 19-year anniversary, as well as trips overseas. Each time she posted these tributes, the fans responded with an outpouring of emotion and talked about how Kobe made an impact on their lives.
Bryant and the Lakers legend originally met on the set of a music video and connected over their love of Disney. They got engaged when she turned 18, tied the knot in 2001 and had four daughters together prior to his death. Following his retirement in 2016, Kobe was able to spend more time with his family, which Vanessa mentioned in a previous Instagram post. He showed dedication to his loved ones but was only able to enjoy fewer than four years of post-NBA life with them.