Vanessa Bryant Congratulates Lakers After Finals Win: 'Wish Kobe and Gianna Were Here to See This'
Vanessa Bryant is congratulating the Los Angeles Lakers following the team’s championship win over the Miami Heat on Sunday.
Posting an old photo of Kobe and Lakers General Manager Rob Pelinka on her Instagram Story, Vanessa — the widow of Lakers legend Kobe Bryant — wrote, "Congratulations Uncle P! Congratulations @Lakers Kobe was right RP 'stay the course- block out the noise' – @kobebryant."
She added, "Wish Kobe and Gianna were here to see this."
Led by LeBron James and Anthony Davis, the Lakers were crowned the 2020 NBA champions after defeating the Heat at Walt Disney World Resort in Orlando, Florida. The Lakers won in a 106-93 victory in Game 6 of their best of seven series.
The win is the franchise's 17th championship, and the first since Kobe and Pau Gasol led the Lakers to a title over the Boston Celtics in 2010.
The Lakers dedicated their season to Vanessa’s late husband after the basketball legend died in a January helicopter crash alongside their 13-year-old daughter Gianna and seven others — Payton Chester, 13, Sarah Chester, 46, Alyssa Altobelli, 14, Keri Altobelli, 46, John Altobelli, 56, Christina Mauser, 38, and pilot Ara Zobayan, 50.
Kobe played for the Lakers for his entire 20-year career, wearing jersey numbers 8 and 24. He made his debut with the team in 1996 after being drafted straight out of high school.
After Game 4 of the NBA Finals, the Lakers announced that they would wear their Black Mamba uniforms — which were designed by Kobe after his retirement from the NBA in 2016 — for Game 5.
The team last wore the Black Mamba uniforms in Game 5 of the series.
Vanessa celebrated the decision on her Instagram Story at the time, writing, "Mamba and Mambacita jerseys approved for game 5," referencing the nicknames of Kobe and their 13-year-old daughter, Gianna, who died with her father in a helicopter crash on Jan. 26.
"Let's go Lakers," Vanessa wrote alongside a picture of LeBron James, Anthony Davis, and Rajon Rondo wearing the uniforms.
Earlier this week, James wore a shirt featuring a picture of Kobe with the words, "More than ever with love, 1978-2020." Los Angeles went on to beat Miami 102-96 later that day, giving them a 3-1 lead in the Finals.
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