Vanessa Bryant Has A Heartbreaking Message For Her Late Daughter Gigi

Hearts were collectively shattered everywhere when it was confirmed that legendary basketball player Kobe Bryant and his 13-year-old daughter Gianna "Gigi" Bryant were tragically killed in a helicopter crash along with seven other passengers. 

Following the devastating news, wife and mother Vanessa Bryant issued a public statement on her Instagram profile. "We are completely devastated by the sudden loss of my adoring husband, Kobe — the amazing father of our children; and my beautiful, sweet Gianna — a loving, thoughtful, and wonderful daughter, and amazing sister to Natalia, Bianka, and Capri," she penned in the January 29 post. "I take comfort in knowing that Kobe and Gigi both knew that they were so deeply loved. We were so incredibly blessed to have them in our lives. I wish they were here with us forever. They were our beautiful blessings taken from us too soon," she continued.

But now, Vanessa has a new message for Gianna — one that is warmly reminiscent of a moving tribute Gianna's late father, Kobe, wrote many years before... 

Vanessa Bryant shared a very special video on Gigi's birthday

On May 1, Vanessa Bryant took to her Instagram account to commemorate what would have been Gianna "Gigi" Bryant's 16th birthday with a very special video.

"Dear Gianna, from the first time you imagined winning a WNBA championship, I knew one thing was real — you were special," Vanessa began in the voiceover for the video. "You came from greatness, but it was never about what you inherited. It was about what you gave to others,"  she continued in the video juxtaposed with black and white illustrations of a young Gigi playing her heart out on the court. "When someone stands up for gender equality, I see you standing up alongside them. And every time someone plays her hardest, I know that's you on the court. Love you always, basketball," Vanessa concluded. Shortly after Vanessa posted the video, celebrities and fans alike flooded the comments section to pay their respects. "So beautiful V. Happy Birthday Gigi!Always in our hearts. #2 Forever," singer Ciara wrote along with two red heart and two basketball emojis. Meanwhile, actor Tia Mowry penned a comment that read, "This is beautiful V! Happy Birthday GiGi." 

Still, the video had a special meaning that some didn't even catch on to... 

Kobe Bryant created his very own 'Dear Basketball' video

Like father, like daughter. 

As you may recall, Kobe Bryant created his very own animated video and open letter to basketball back in 2017 with the help of animator Glen Keane and composer John Williams, per The Guardian. In the confines of the now-famous video Kobe fondly recalls the way in which he fell in love with the game. "From the moment I started rolling my dad's tube socks, and shooting imaginary game-winning shots In the Great Western Forum, I knew one thing was real: I fell in love with you," he began before eventually bidding it an emotional adieu. "You gave a six-year-old boy his Laker dream, And I'll always love you for it. But I can't love you obsessively for much longer. This season is all I have left to give. My heart can take the pounding, My mind can handle the grind, But my body knows it's time to say goodbye," he wrote referencing his retirement from the game. 

Later, during an interview with the Los Angeles Times, Bryant discussed the making of the video and his newfound love of creating. "I truly find it fascinating that we can put a story together, and then you can have different interpretations of that story... I'm just absolutely fascinated by that art, and how to make more." 

Kobe's short filmed earned him an Oscar

As we all know, however, Kobe Bryant was not simply content going through the motions when it comes to anything, he has to take home the hardware too... and that he did.

In 2018, the short film would give him another W... an Oscar W. "As basketball players, we're really supposed to shut up and dribble. I'm glad we're doing much more than that," he famously said during his acceptance speech before thanking a host of people that included his wife and daughters.

Later, during an appearance on "Jimmy Kimmel Live!" he marveled at the feat. "This is not supposed to happen," he exclaimed. "I'm supposed to play basketball, not write something that wins an Oscar." He then went on to discuss the ways in which he hoped he could continue working in the industry — none of which included acting or singing. "I don't even sound good in the shower. I'll let that be," he joked. RIP Kobe and Gianna.