Vanessa Bryant's touching tribute to Gigi, 'MVP of girl dads' Kobe

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Monday, February 24, 2020

LOS ANGELES -- Nearly a month after the death of her husband and daughter, Vanessa Bryant took the stage at Staples Center to give a heartwarming, emotional tribute to Kobe and Gianna Bryant, who she said both "naturally gravitated towards each other."

At the memorial, Vanessa remembered Gianna as "an amazingly sweet and gentle soul" whose smile was "like sunshine" and "took up her entire face." She said Gianna had the "best laugh," describing it as "infectious...pure and genuine."

"Gianna loved and showed everyone that no act of kindness is too small to make a difference in someone's life," Vanessa continued.

She added: "We will not be able to see Gigi go to high school. We didn't get the chance to teach her how to drive a car. I won't be able to tell her how gorgeous she looks on her wedding day. I'll never get to see my baby girl walk down the aisle, have a father-daughter dance with her daddy."

Vanessa said the world saw Kobe as a celebrity and basketball legend - the Black Mamba - but to her he was her best friend and protector. She remembered as "my everything," saying, "He was the most amazing husband. Kobe loved me more than I could ever express in words."

"He would do anything for me. I have no idea how I deserved a man who loved and wanted me more than Kobe," she continued. "Kobe was the MVP of girl dads. He never left the toilet seat up. He always told the girls how beautiful and smart they are."

He loved to watch romantic movies with them and put them to bed every night. Before Kobe's death, Vanessa said, the couple planned to renew their vows and travel the world together.

Kobe Bryant, his daughter and seven others were killed last month in a helicopter crash in foggy weather while heading to a basketball tournament that Gianna was to play in.

Vanessa Bryant pays tribute to Kobe, Gianna: 'Our love for them is endless'

The Associated Press contributed to this report.