Vanessa Bryant is reflecting on a special moment during Kobe Bryant's NBA career. On Sunday, Vanessa Bryant went to Instagram to post an emotional video of her late husband celebrating the Los Angeles Lakers winning the NBA Championship. In the video, Kobe is seen screaming after the Lakers defeated the Orlando Magic in five games to take the series.
Kobe also talks about the "long journey" while holding his daughter Gianna. The video also shows Bryant winning the NBA Finals MVP award and him celebrating with his team in the locker room. Kobe and Gianna died in a helicopter crash on Jan. 26 alongside seven other people. In the Instagram caption, Bryant wrote: "11 years ago today. #repost hard to watch without it crushing my soul but so thankful we have these videos to look back on when we feel the time is right."
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The win in 2009 was Kobe's fourth NBA title. From 2000-02, Kobe led the Lakers to three consecutive championships with the help of Shaquille O' Neal. At Kobe and Gianna's memorial service in February, O'Neal talked about the time when Bryant gained his respect. "The day Kobe gained my respect, the guys were complaining, saying, 'Shaq, Kobe's not passing the ball,'" O'Neal, 47, recalled. "I said, 'I'll talk to him.' I said, 'Kobe, there's no I in team. And Kobe said, 'I know, but there's an M-E in that mothers—er,'" O'Neal revealed, smiling as the crowd laughed.
In 2010, Kobe would go on to lead the Lakers to another championship and was named Finals MVP once again. He would continue to play until 2016 when he announced his retirement. In 2017, Kobe's No. 8 and No. 24 jerseys were retired, and during his speech, Kobe said: "Those times when you get up early and you work hard. Those times you stay up late and you work hard. Those times when you don't feel like working. You're too tired. You don't want to push yourself, but you do it anyway... That is actually the dream."
Bryant's post on Instagram comes on the heels of her and her 17-year old daughter Natalia blocked fan pages on the platform. In her Instagram story, Bryant said it was hard for her and Natalia to constantly see photos of Kobe and Gianna.