Vanessa Bryant, widow of Kobe Bryant, joined their daughter Natalia and the Los Angeles Lakers legend's sisters, Sharia Washington and Shaya Tabb, for a fun photo on Instagram late Thursday. In the picture, Vanessa struck a post in her Slytherin sweatshirt, a possible reference to her late husband's love of the Harry Potter franchise. The picture was published exactly two months after Bryant and daughter Gianna Bryant died in a helicopter crash.
Vanessa, 37, only included the hashtag "Queen Mamba" in the caption, as well as two snake emojis and a crown. It was her second post on Thursday, following a throwback video showing Bryant gushing about Gianna's love of basketball. In that clip, Bryant noted that Gianna's temperament and drive is similar to his. "She's competitive, very fiery and backs down from no challenge," Bryant said. "She has a mixture - a good mix of me and a good mix of her mama. So that makes her even more competitive than I am."
Bryant's love of Harry Potter was well known, as GQ tracked back in 2015. The NBA icon mentioned loving Harry Potter several times on Jimmy Kimmel Live. During the 2012 London Summer Olympics, Bryant said he wanted to meet Harry Potter author J.K. Rowling more than any member of the Royal Family. On Jan. 3, just weeks before his death, Bryant used a Harry Potter hat sorting app, which showed he belonged in Slytherin.
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"I started out as a fan of the movies," Bryant told Jimmy Kimmel in 2007. "My wife read the books. So the books come out before the movies do, so she would try to kill the movie for me by giving me little hints on what’s gonna happen. I wasn't too happy about that."
Bryant, 41, and Gianna, 13, died in a helicopter crash on Jan. 26 in Calabasas, California while on their way to the Mamba Sports Academy for a youth basketball tournament. The other victims of the crash were John Altobelli, Keri Altobelli, Alyssa Altobelli, Sarah Chester, Payton Chester, Christina Mauser and pilot Ara Zobayan. On Feb. 24, the Lakers hosted a Celebration of Life event for Gianna and Bryant at the Staples Center, where Vanessa gave a powerful eulogy.
"Yea I am." 😏
Of course Kobe got Slytherin 🐍January 4, 2020
"God knew they couldn't be on this earth without each other. He had to bring them home to him together," Vanessa said, fighting through tears. "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 is survived by Vanessa, Natalia, 17, and their youngest daughters Bianka, 3, and Capri, 9 months.
Photo credit: Kevork Djansezian/Getty Images