The NBA legend met his wife 21 years ago on November 27, 1999. Vanessa has since reflected on the meaningful anniversary nearly one year after Kobe and their daughter Gianna's death in a helicopter crash in January. Vanessa posted a sweet throwback photo of herself and Kobe embracing at Disney on her Instagram page yesterday. "Love at first sight 11/27/99 #21," she wrote.
The couple married two years after that photo was taken, and since had four children together, daughters Natalia, 17, Gianna, 13, Bianka, 3, and Capri, 1. Kobe, 41, was one of eight people killed in a freak helicopter accident. Daughter Gianna, and Payton Chester, 13, Sarah Chester, 46, Alyssa Altobelli, 14, Keri Altobelli, 46, John Altobelli, 56, Christina Mauser, 38, and pilot Ara Zobayan, 50, were also victims.
Since then, Vanessa has documented many of the family's milestones that Kobe and Gianna have missed. She posted this for his 42nd birthday in August:
"To my baby~ Happy birthday. I love you and miss you more than I can ever explain. I wish you and Gigi were here to celebrate YOU! I wish I could make you your fav food or a birthday cake with my Gigi," the mother of four said on Instagram at the time. "I miss your big hugs, your kisses, your smile, your loud ass deep laugh. I miss teasing you, making you laugh and bursting your bubble. I miss you sitting on my lap like my big baby that you are. I think about your tenderness and patience all the time. I think about everything you would do in situations to help me deal with everything thrown my way."
She continued, "Thank you for growing up with me and teaching me how to be strong. How to try to see the best in people but cutout the bs. Your thoughtful gestures and the amazing way you made us all feel is extremely missed. I picture your smile and wide big welcoming hugs daily."