Vanessa Bryant Explains Why Daughter Natalia Didn't Attend Kobe Bryant's Hall of Fame Induction Ceremony
Vanessa Bryant thanks daughter Natalia for the length of time she went to pay tribute to papa Kobe Bryant over the weekend.
The late NBA Superstar was honored at the 2020 Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame Class induction ceremony on Saturday, May 15. It had previously been delayed by eight months due to the coronavirus pandemic.
After some fans noticed that Kobe and Vanessa's eldest daughter didn't attend the ceremony on Saturday, May 15, Vanessa took to Instagram the following day to praise Natalia, 18, for being in high despite her prom School had done everything possible to honor her father that happened to fall on the same day.
On May 16, Vanessa posted a selfie of herself kissing Natalia on the cheek while the teen was carrying a backpack and was about to catch a flight. The night before the ceremony, Natalia and her family attended the Tip-Off Celebration and Awards Gala at the Mohegan Sun in Uncasville, Connecticut, on May 14, and returned to Los Angeles the next morning.
Kobe Bryant's family attends the Hall of Fame induction ceremony
"Natalia almost missed her prom last night," said Vanessa. “When I was a high school graduate, Kobe and I were engaged and he had a playoff game the night of my prom. Kobe didn't want me to go to prom without him and I didn't want to without him. When We heard that Natalia's prom night and Kobe's Hall of Fame night were the same night. I looked at Natalia and said, "Well, if it's any consolation, papa stopped me from going to my prom, so it's only right that he tried to keep you from going to you. '"
She continued, "Of course we laughed because even in Heaven he is still trying to make movements and keep the boys away. Natalia has experienced so much loss that I couldn't miss her to have the opportunity once in a lifetime to Her Senior Prom. Thank you for flying out to accept Dad's Hall of Fame jacket and flying home the next morning. #HallofFame #SeniorPromNight. "
Natalia, for her part, shared the same selfie with her Instagram story, adding, "I love you."
One of the most memorable moments of the 2020 Hall of Fame class over the weekend was Vanessa and Natalia accepting Kobe's posthumous jacket and ring on the evening of May 14. Vanessa then put on her daughter's jacket and led the crowd to sing Kobe's name.
Vaness Bryant, Natalia Bryant, 2020 tip-off celebration and award gala
At the May 15 ceremony, Michael introduced Jordan to Kobe, who died in a tragic helicopter crash on January 26, 2020 that also killed Kobe's 13-year-old daughter Gianna and seven other people.
When Vanessa accepted the award on behalf of her late husband, she gave an emotional speech after Michael's presentation.
"His most valued achievement was being the best girl father," she said of Kobe. "I want to thank him for somehow figuring out ways to invest time not only to be an incredible athlete, visionary, entrepreneur, and storyteller, but also an amazing family man."
Back in March, Vanessa took to Instagram to celebrate Natalia's inclusion in the USC. "I know Papa is SO PROUD OF YOU," she wrote. "I'm so proud of you!!"
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