It has been almost exactly five months since the world lost Kobe Bryant, and the outpourings of support for his family — and appreciation for what the late Lakers star did for the city of Los Angeles — are hardly showing any signs of slowing down. On Sunday, they made their way to the 2020 version of ESPN’s annual sports awards show, the ESPYs.
One of the people who has been the most committed to continuing to remind people of what was special about Bryant is his old teammate, Pau Gasol. And as part of a pre-recorded message that played during the event, Gasol made sure to highlight the fatherhood part of Bryant’s legacy on Father’s Day:
“Kobe Bryant spent 20 years with the Lakers, dedicated to becoming the best player in the world. But what he enjoyed the most was being a husband to Vanessa, and a father to Natalia, Gianna, Bianka and Capri. We all remember his smile and happiness so vividly whenever he spoke about his family. He may be known as one of the greatest athletes of all time, but he was also one of the best girl dads of all time.
“Though we lost Kobe and his beautiful daughter Gigi five months ago, today his legacy is alive in the streets of L.A., a city that he loved so much. Proof lies in the assortment of murals that cover the city far and wide. A tribute to his impact, now and forever.”
It would seem Bryant’s widow, Vanessa, appreciated this latest gesture from her husband’s longtime co-star and friend, sharing the video on her own Instagram with the caption “Thank you @paugasol ❤️ @kobebryant #BestDaddy #GirlDaddy #LovingHusband.”
It wasn’t the only heartfelt tribute to Bryant during the evening. Legendary rapper Snoop Dogg — a giant Lakers fan and Los Angeles icon — also dropped a new song as a part of the proceedings, rapping his way through Bryant’s basketball journey as b-roll of Bryant’s career and the impact he’s made all over the city played:
Los Angeles will never forget Kobe Bryant, and the sheer volume of murals in that video — footage that doesn’t even come close to comprising all of the ones that went up in the aftermath of his and Gianna’s untimely passing — makes it as clear as anything before how much the loss of Bryant is still being felt in the city he brought five titles to. That probably won’t change any time soon, but thanks to messengers like Gasol and Snoop Dogg, it will be easy to remember the happy times, too.