Vanessa Bryant Posts Black and White Photo of Late Daughter Gianna Ahead of Christmas

Vanessa Bryant is paying tribute to her late daughter Gianna ahead of Christmas Day. The widow of Los Angeles Lakers legend Kobe Bryant posted a black and white photo of Gianna and captioned it with her name with two heart emojis. Vanessa Bryant and her family are spending Christmas without Kobe and Gianna for the first time since they died in a helicopter crash in January along with seven other people.

Many of Bryant's followers sent messages to her and the family. "Couple extra prayers for you and your family this holiday season," one person wrote while others used heart emojis to show their love for the photo and Gianna. Throughout the year, Bryant used social media to send messages to Gianna and Kobe. On Gianna's 14th birthday, Bryant went to Instagram to celebrate.

"Happy 14th Birthday to my sweet baby girl, Gianna," Bryant wrote. "Mommy loves you more than I can ever show you. You are part of MY SOUL forever. I miss you so much everyday. I wish I could wake up and have you here with me. I miss your smile, your hugs and your giggles. I miss EVERYTHING about YOU, Gigi. I LOVE YOU so much!!!!!!!"

During Kobe and Gianna's Celebration of Life event in February, Bryant sent a touching message to her daughter. "Gianna Bryant is an amazingly sweet and gentle soul. She was always thoughtful. she always kissed me goodnight and kissed me good morning," Vanessa said. "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.'"

Bryant's post comes after the Lakers paid tribute to Kobe on Tuesday night. The team kicked off the 2020-21 season by getting their 2020 NBA Championship rings. Each ring had a mamba snake behind the players' numbers and it also showed Bryant's No. 8 and No. 24 retired jerseys.

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"We created a removable top that exposes the rafters that are up in Staples Center with [jerseys of] all of the retired Laker greats, with a special emphasis put on Kobe's No. 8 and No. 24 jersey, and it's set on a snakeskin-texture background," ring designer Jason Arasheben said to ESPN.