There were a lot of moving tributes at the ESPYs yesterday, but one of the best moments of the night came from Golden State Warriors guard Klay Thompson directed at Kobe Bryant’s widow, Vanessa.
“I don’t know if Vanessa is out there watching, but to Vanessa and her three beautiful girls, we think of Kobe and Gigi every day,” Thompson said. “I read Mamba Mentality every day during rehab and those are the best memories of my life, watching him play and he inspired me to be the athlete I am today.”
Vanessa Bryant was clearly watching and had a message of her own for Thompson. Taking to Instagram she called Thompson “a class act” and thanked him for his support.
“Klay Thompson, you’re a class act,” Bryant said. “Thank you for your support and love for Kobe, my Gigi and our family. Thank you for always including my Gigi when you think of Kob. Congratulations. #MambaMentality #espys”
Kobe Bryant and his daughter Gianna “Gigi” Bryant were among nine victims of a tragic helicopter crash in January 2020.
In the months that followed just about every pro athlete in America, let alone the NBA, paid tribute to the Lakers icon.
So many active NBA players look to Kobe as their inspiration for going into pro basketball in the first place.
No one tribute can ever fully encapsulate how much people loved the Black Mamba.