Although Natalia Bryant was a memorable part of Kobe Bryant’s Hall of Fame induction, Vanessa Bryant explains why her daughter couldn’t make it.
Kobe was honored over the weekend as part of the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame Class of 2020.
The night before the induction ceremony on Saturday, May 15th, the 18-year-old joined her family at the Tip-Off Celebration and Awards Gala on May 14 at the Mohegan Sun in Uncasville, Conn. Then Vanessa posted a picture of her giving Natalia a kiss before she seemingly boards a flight to Los Angeles the following day.
“Natalia almost missed her senior prom last night,” Vanessa captioned it. “When I was a senior in high school, Kobe and I were engaged and he had a playoff game the night of my prom. Kobe didn’t want me going to prom without him and I didn’t want to go without him. When we heard Natalia’s prom night and Kobe’s Hall of Fame night were on the same night, I looked at Natalia and said, ‘well if it’s any consolation, daddy kept me from going to my prom, so it’s only right that he tried to keep you from going to yours.'”
She continued, “Of course we laughed because even in heaven, he’s still trying to make moves and keep the boys away. Natalia’s experienced so much loss, I couldn’t let her miss out on her once in a lifetime opportunity to go to her senior prom. Thank you for flying out to accept daddy’s Hall of Fame jacket and fly home the next morning. #HallofFame #SeniorPromNight.”
Natalia reposted the same picture of her and her mother and captioned it, “Love you.”
Vanessa Bryant delivered an emotional speech after Michael Jordan inducted the late baller, who tragically passed away in a helicopter crash with his daughter in January 2020.
“His most cherished accomplishment was being the very best girl dad,” she said of Kobe during her speech. “I want to thank him for somehow finding ways to dedicate time to not only being an incredible athlete, a visionary, entrepreneur and storyteller, but for also being an amazing family man.”