Vanessa Bryant and Daughters Honor Kobe Bryant in Emotional Handprint Ceremony: 'Love You Forever'
Jordan Strauss/Invision/AP/Shutterstock Natalia Bryant, Bianka Bryant, Capri Bryant, Vanessa Bryant
Vanessa Bryant and her daughters honored their late husband and father Kobe Bryant during an emotional ceremony unveiling his handprints at the iconic Chinese Theatre in Hollywood on Wednesday.
Back in 2011, Kobe became the first athlete to have his hands and feet imprinted in cement at the legendary TCL Chinese Theatre. And to commemorate his legacy, the theatre permanently placed his handprints and footprints in the forecourt of the iconic venue on Wednesday.
Kobe and Vanessa's eldest daughter Natalia, 20, gave a loving speech at the ceremony with Vanessa, 40, and younger sisters Bianka, 6, and Capri, 3, watching on.
"I'm honored to be here today to recognize the man that we all knew and love my dad, Kobe Bryant," Natalia began. Calling Kobe the "MVP of girl dads," she spoke about witnessing his intense work ethic as a basketball player and how despite his busy schedule, the Laker legend always made time for his four daughters.
"Being his daughter is one of the greatest joys of my life, and I hope to continue to embody and cherish the many lessons he has taught me," she said.
Natalia also recognized the monumental decision to place Kobe's prints in front of the Chinese Theater.
"This day symbolizes the impact that he has had on a city that he loved and cared for so deeply," she said.
"I encourage you to place your hands in his and take a moment to stand in his shoes. 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."
Ending her speech, Natalia said that they will love Kobe "forever and always," and made sure to include her sister Gianna, who died in the helicopter crash alongside their dad, in her regards.
"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."
Also in attendance at the ceremony was Los Angeles Lakers president Jeanie Buss and former NBA star Byron Scott, who played alongside Kobe for the NBA team.
RELATED: Vanessa Bryant Goes to Lakers' Arena for the First Time Since Kobe's Memorial to Honor Pau Gasol
Vanessa recently returned to the Lakers' arena for the first time since Feb. 24, 2020, the day of Kobe and Gianna Bryant's memorial service, when she attended Pau Gasol's jersey retirement ceremony earlier this month.
Vanessa had not been back to the Los Angeles arena — then called the Staples Center and now Crypto.com Arena — since Kobe and Gianna's memorial service. She delivered a heartbreaking eulogy to her husband and their 13-year-old daughter that day.
RELATED VIDEO: Vanessa Bryant Reflects Back on Kobe in Emotional Speech as She Accepts Honor at Baby2Baby Gala
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"They were so easy to love. Everyone naturally gravitated toward them. They were funny, happy, silly, and they loved life. They were so full of joy and adventure," Vanessa told the packed arena.
"God knew they couldn't be on this earth without each other. He had to bring them home to have them together," said Vanessa before telling her late husband: "Babe, you take care of our Gigi. And I got Nani, B.B. and Koko. We're still the best team. May you both rest in peace and have fun in Heaven until we meet again one day. We love you both and miss you. Forever and always, Mommy."