12 months on it still doesn’t seem real.
For the sporting world — the world full stop — January 26 will always be a hard day.
The death of Kobe Bryant and daughter Gianna in a helicopter crash is re-opening old wounds one-year since the tragedy occurred.
Sporting legends have made public statements and taken to social media to share their heartbreaking and uplifting tributes to the NBA legend affectionately known as Black Mamba.
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Bryant’s wife Vanessa also posted a devastating letter she received from one of her daughter’s best friends.
She captioned the letter with her own emotional message about the day that marks 12 months since her life was met with unimaginable sorrow when when a helicopter carrying her husband and daughter crashed into a hillside, killing everyone on board.
Gianna Bryant and dad Kobe Bryant Picture: gigibryant2Source:Supplied
“Today I received this sweet letter from one of Gianna’s best friends, Aubrey,” she wrote on Instagram.
“I love you Aubz (as my Gigi would call you). Thank you so much for beautifully sharing some of your memories of my Gigi with me and allowing me to share them here on my ig.
“My Gigi is INCREDIBLE and I truly appreciate your thoughtful letter. She loves you so much. I miss my baby girl and Kob-Kob so much, too.
“I will never understand why/how this tragedy could’ve happened to such beautiful, kind and amazing human beings. It still doesn’t seem real. Kob, we did it right. Gigi, you still make mommy proud. I love you.”
The letter, addressed to Vanessa from Aubrey Callaghan, hits right in the feels.
“You have probably heard this, but if I ever become a mom, I hope my daughter turns out exactly like yours did,” the letter reads.
Kobe Bryant’s legacy lives on.Source:AFP
The letter continues: “There are times I get into a pit of despair thinking about her and what she could’ve accomplished had she had a couple more years.
“But recently I have been thinking about the mark she did leave on this Earth.
“I hope that in the midst of your intense sadness you catch a glimpse of the joy in who the daughter you created and raised was. You did it right Mrs. Bryant, and we are all eternally grateful to you. I am so blessed to have had time with your angel of a daughter.”
A post shared by Vanessa Bryant 🦋 (@vanessabryant)
It was just one of many difficult-to-read messages posted on Thursday (AEDT).
Kobe Bryant’s teammate Pau Gasol also penned an emotional message.
“I miss you, hermano… not a day goes by that you are not present in what I do,” the Lakers great wrote.
“Your spirit, your drive, your ambition, your love… continues to shine in my life and many others. Photos, videos, very special moments are being shared by countless people that have admired you and loved you in their own way, reminding me how lucky I have been to share some of those moments with you.
“I hope you and Gigi are smiling down seeing how strong, sweet and amazing your girls are.”
I miss you, hermano… pic.twitter.com/Wd2MdT1JZ0
The NBA world flooded social media with messages honouring the Hall of Fame legend.
Laker Nation we will always remember the brilliance, the legend, and the mamba mentality of #8/#24 💜💛 pic.twitter.com/vnXNOYZ3Jy
I'll always wish I had one more conversation with Kobe. For all his greatness and everything he accomplished, his best days were still to come. My thoughts are with the family and friends of Kobe, Gianna, and all the others who were taken from us far too soon a year ago today. pic.twitter.com/SrZunsSqo1
Still doesn’t seem real. RIP to those lost. MAMBA FOREVER!!! 🐍🖤 @ Kobe Bryant's Legacy 8/24 https://t.co/UlGZxqh50W
The game will never be the same…. RIP 🐐🖤🐍 pic.twitter.com/T4AISokWaB
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