Vanessa Bryant looked like a proud wife and mother during the ceremony to unveil her late husband, Kobe Bryant’s, handprints and footprints at the iconic Chinese Theatre in Hollywood on Wednesday, March 15. The stunning beauty, 40, brought along daughters Natalia, 19, Bianka, 6, & Capri, 3 to honor their NBA legend dad and sister Gianna, who both died in a helicopter crash in January 2020.
Looking like a mini-me of her famous father, Natalia gave a beautiful speech during the ceremony, calling Kobe the “MVP of girl dads,” per People. “Dad, you’re an icon, a legend, the storyteller, and most importantly, the best girl dad any young woman could ever dream of,” she said. “I’m honored to be here to represent you and our family, and we are extremely proud of you. We will love you forever and always. Love, Natalia, Gianna, Bianka, Capri and Mommy.”
In a heartwarming display, Bianka and Capri put their hands inside the prints of their father’s on the concrete of the iconic theater. “I encourage you to place your hands in his and take a moment to stand in his shoes,” Natalia added. “This will be a treasure for the city of Los Angeles and my dad’s fans from all over the world to hold and to cherish.”
Kobe had made the impressions back in 2011, when he became the first athlete to have his hands and feet imprinted in cement at the legendary Chinese Theatre. To commemorate him and the pay tribute to his love of Los Angeles, the theatre decided to permanently place his handprints and footprints in the forecourt of the Hollywood Boulevard venue.
The tribute comes after Vanessa returned to the Lakers’ arena last week for the first time since Kobe and Gianna’s memorial service in February 2020. She paid tribute to Kobe’s friend and teammate, Paul Gasol, whose jersey was being retired. “I love you, sister,” Paul said to Vanessa at the event. “I’m proud to be your brother. I’m proud to be an uncle to your lovely girls.”
The handprint ceremony also comes after the news of Kobe’s widow reaching a $28.5 million settlement from the Los Angeles County Board of Supervisors over leaked photos of the helicopter crash. “Today marks the successful culmination of Mrs. Bryant’s courageous battle to hold accountable those who engaged in this grotesque conduct,” Vanessa’s lawyer said in a March statement to People. “She fought for her husband, her daughter, and all those in the community whose deceased family were treated with similar disrespect. We hope her victory at trial and this settlement will put an end to this practice.”
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