“Go Lakers!” Vanessa Bryant, Bryant’s widow and Gianna’s mom, wrote on Instagram, such as a picture of this Lakers celebrity and their basketball-loving daughter by the group’s 2009 championship party. “Wish Kobe and Gigi were here to see this.”
Pau Gasol, Bryant’s former Lakers teammate along with a buddy, and his wife named their newborn daughter Elisabet Gianna last month as well, such as Bryant, he’s proclaimed himself a proud “Girl Dad.” “This one is for you brother, for you Gianna, for Vanessa,” he tweeted Sunday and mentioned the Bryants’ three other daughters, “for Natalia, for Bianka and for Capri.”
The Lakers reminded everyone of Bryant and Gianna during the Finals and ended up winning the name on National Father-Daughter Day. They wore the “Black Mamba” uniforms Bryant had a hand in designing. They broke huddles using a “1-2-3, Mamba!” chant. They wore his sneakers and T-shirts and, when Anthony Davis struck a three-point buzzer-beater at Game two of those Western Conference finals against Denver, he slapped his chest and cried, “Kobe!”
“Kobe’s presence was magical,” Tim Harris, that the Lakers’ president of business operations and chief operating officer, told Bill Plaschke of those Los Angeles Times. “It was like we were playing six-on-five.”
For Davis, winning a championship was emotionally overpowering, and also the Bryant variable was a significant portion of it.
“Ever since the tragedy, all we wanted to do is to do it for him, and we didn’t let him down,” an psychological Davis said.” … This is a challenging moment. He was a big brother to all people and we did so to him.”
Rob Pelinka, that the Lakers’ general manager, is near this Bryant household and felt the sway of the former star player and his daughter during a pandemic-interrupted year that finished with all the surreal scene at the NBA bubble.
“Kobe’s voice is always in my head, always, every day, every minute. … For us to be able to win this championship doesn’t take away the sting of the loss, but what it does is it helps us add to their legacy,” he said. “Kobe and Gianna’s legacy will continue forever. It will affect lives round the world in positive ways, and also this Lakers championship in 2020 is partially to build on that heritage and honor them. The moment could not be any more specific to do this for them.
“There could be instances in my hotel room here when you are in a bubble for 100 days, it is tough. There’d be instances at the middle of the night, I’d hear his voice‘Stay the course. Finish the task.’”
Back at Los Angeles, Lakers fans took to the streets, observing the championship and Bryant and Gianna.
Fans wore Bryant’s No. 8 and No. 24 jerseys, together with Gianna’s No. 2 gift as well. For these, the championship was private in another manner, as it had been for its players.
“I got to compete against Kobe Bryant when I was 21,” Rajon Rondo said. “So his match and his heritage speaks for itself. Me being a child from Louisville, Kentucky, to have the ability to compete Kobe two decades to the league, learn and understand much from him by watching his own movie and analyzing his movie, it is certainly an honor.
“And to come whole circle to win in his honour, his daughter’s honour, incredible season that we have had. And to have the ability to prevail and keep focused and keep to find the business done, I understand something: He’s certainly smiling down on us. We’re in a position to satisfy our dream and triumph together with the championship”