Amid a blizzard of falling confetti and wild player celebrations, Kobe Bryant’s widow Vanessa congratulated the Los Angeles Lakers on winning the 2020 NBA Finals on Sunday night, Oct. 11, 2020.
Vanessa Bryant gave shoutouts to the team, which thrashed the Miami Heat, 106-93, in game 6 in a contest that was never close and that the Lakers led by as much as 36 points in the third quarter before taking their figurative foot off the gas.
Bryant spoke to her 13 million followers on her Instagram page, which is now private, in which she also gave props to Lakers’ general manager and close family friend Rob Pelinka. He and Lakers’ legend Earvin “Magic” Johnson were instrumental in bringing LeBron James and Anthony “AD” Davis to the team that ensured a title-contending team.
“Congratulations Uncle P! Congratulations @lakers,” Bryant captioned the post, according to the Los Angeles Times. “Kobe was right, RP! ‘Stay the course- blockout the noise.'”
Bryant also added forlornly, “Wish Kobe and Gigi were here to see this.”
Kobe Bryant, 41, and Gianna “Gigi” Bryant, 13, died along with seven others on Jan. 26, 2020, after the helicopter they were flying in went down in the mountains of suburban Los Angeles.
The Lakers’ players dedicated this year’s truncated season to the Black Mamba’s unimpeachable legacy.
“Ever since the tragedy, all we wanted to do is do it for him, and we didn’t let him down,” Davis said during a post-game interview on ABC.
King James said the tragedy brought the team “even closer together.”
“And obviously we know it brought the whole basketball world close as well,” James said after the game. “But when you’re internal and it hits home, it just means that much more. We locked in from that very moment, saying, ‘This is bigger than us, this is bigger than us.'”