Vanessa Bryant received some special recognition of her 19th wedding anniversary to the late Kobe Bryant on Saturday, April 18.
The former Los Angeles Lakers’ star’s widow got an opulent bouquet of red roses from her daughters, standing in for her husband. She also got a pink floral bouquet from her husband’s former teammate, Pau Gasol, and his wife, Cat McDonnell.
“Anniversary flowers from my Kobe,” Vanessa posted on her Instagram account on April 18. “Thank you for my red roses @nataliabryant #GiannaBryant #BiankaBryant #CapriBryant @jeffleatham Thank you for my beautiful pink floral bouquet @catmcdonnell7 @paugasol So thoughtful of all of you.”
It was the couple’s first wedding anniversary since Kobe and their second oldest daughter, Gianna, died in a helicopter crash on Jan. 26.
Anniversary gift-giver Pau Gasol played on the Lakers with Bryant from 2008 to 2014 and recently wrote a post for The Players’ Tribune about our current state of social isolation that mentioned his late friend.
“[The coronavirus crisis] makes me think about something I learned from a former teammate,” Gasol said in the April 3 article. “The way he responded to setbacks was one of the most remarkable things I’ve seen in my life. He viewed adversity as a great teacher and an opportunity to grow. That teammate was Kobe Bryant. I’m really missing Kobe these days, and the things he taught me are louder than ever in my mind, and in my heart.”
Gasol clearly still had his teammate on his mind when he sent that bouquet of flowers to Vanessa Bryant.
Vanessa Bryant, 37, also put up two other Instagram posts about her late husband on their anniversary.
The first was a photo of the two together as a younger couple. She captioned the picture, “My king, my heart, my best friend. Happy 19th wedding anniversary baby. I miss you so much. I wish you were here to hold me in your arms. I love you.”
The second was a clip of Kobe Bryant being interviewed by MTV News in 2001, the same year they got married.
“All I know is she caught my heart, and I just knew she was the one,” Bryant told the interviewer. “Vanessa, she’s very strong. She’s very strong-willed.”
When asked where he saw the couple in the future, he responded,”In the future, I see us as two cool-a** parents. Young parents, full of energy.”
The couple had four daughters together: Natalia, 17; Gianna, 13; Bianka, 3; and Capri, 10 months.
What a sweet and thoughtful gesture on both Gasol’s and Bryant’s daughters’ parts!