Vanessa Bryant made another appearance Saturday to talk about her late husband Kobe’s election to the Basketball Hall of Fame.
As expected, Kobe Bryant was officially named to the class of 2020, and Vanessa Bryant joined ESPN’s announcement broadcast along with her daughter Natalia for a brief interview. Vanessa Bryant referred to Kobe’s induction as “the peak of his NBA career” and grew emotional as she talked about it.
"We're incredibly proud of him."
Vanessa and Natalia Bryant joined Rece Davis after Kobe's induction into the Basketball Hall of Fame. pic.twitter.com/HX31pyvgPe
— ESPN (@espn) April 4, 2020
This has been an incredibly difficult time for Vanessa Bryant after her husband’s death in January. She has handled it with remarkable grace, poise, and strength and did so again here. It is unfortunate that Kobe Bryant won’t be there for his Hall of Fame induction, but Vanessa is carrying his legacy beautifully.
The 2020 Naismith Basketball Hall of Fame class will be as legendary as anticipated.
According to Shams Charania of The Athletic, Kobe Bryant, Tim Duncan, and Kevin Garnett will be the Class of 2020. An official announcement is expected over the weekend.
Mark Berman of FOX 26 Houston added that five-time All-Star and two-time title-winning head coach Rudy Tomjanovich has also been voted in as part of the class.
Wow! NBA sources: Former #Rockets Coach Rudy Tomjanovich elected to the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame.
— Mark Berman (@MarkBermanFox26) April 3, 2020
The group of the first three players is no surprise, and it was predicted to be this way several weeks ago. It’s also nice to see Tomjanovich, one of the most accomplished NBA personalities around, get his due. This promises to be a must-see ceremony, and it will be an emotional one as Bryant’s absence will weigh heavily.
Jalen Mills wants to start a new chapter with the Philadelphia Eagles, and he is crediting a pair of all-time basketball greats for providing the inspiration.
The Eagles veteran, who will be changing his number from 31 to 21, said on Tuesday that LeBron James and the late Kobe Bryant inspired the change.
“The number change is just a new beginning,” Mills said, per Martin Frank of the Delaware News Journal. “One of the guys who always motivates me was Kobe Bryant or LeBron James. Kobe went from 8 to 24. LeBron from 6 to 23. It’s re-creating myself, re-creating that ‘Green Goblin,’ that monster. It’s a new position. It’s a new feel. It’s going to be new energy.”
The 25-year-old Mills, who will also be switching positions from cornerback to safety next season, signed a one-year, $5 million deal to return to Philadelphia this offseason. He added that he had interest from other teams as well but that they all wanted him to remain as a cornerback.
For Mills, whose number change will allow the newly-signed Nickell Robey-Coleman to wear No. 31 instead, let’s just say that this is much better than the last time that he got involved with the NBA.
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Vanessa Bryant has been trying to get matters sorted regarding her family trust ever since husband Kobe and daughter Gianna died in January. There has been some progress in that effort, according to a report.
TMZ Sports reported on Monday night that Bryant’s daughters have been appointed legal guardians to represent their interests in the family trust. Vanessa and Kobe’s agent, Rob Pelinka, are the co-trustees.
According to TMZ, new legal documents say Natalia and Bianka have been appointed a guardian ad litem. Baby Capri has a guardian ad litem as well, though her guardian is different from the one her two older sisters have.
A guardian ad litem acts to protect a child’s interest.
Natalia is 17 and the closest to being an adult. Bianka is 3, while Capri is nine months old.
Vanessa recently was attempting to get Capri added to the trust since the young baby was not born at the time the trust was last updated. Bryant was looking to get things done soon because of uncertainty regarding shutdowns related to the coronavirus.
Vanessa Bryant has been sorting through a number of legal issues since her husband Kobe and daughter Gianna died in a helicopter crash earlier this year, and one of them involves making another amendment to Kobe’s trust.
According to court documents obtained by TMZ, Vanessa is trying to amend Kobe’s trust to include the couple’s youngest daughter, Capri. The trust was created in 2003 and has been amended several times, most recently in 2017. The previous amendments appeared to come after each of Kobe’s and Vanessa’s first three daughters — Natalia, Gianna and Bianka — were born. However, Capri is just nine months old and the Bryants likely just had not gotten around to amending the trust again before Kobe died.
The way the trust is currently set up allows for Vanessa, Natalia and Bianka to draw from the principal and income during Vanessa’s lifetime, and the girls get the remainder of the money after Vanessa’s death. Vanessa wants to include Capri in the distribution, and a judge should have no problem signing off on the amendment.
Fortunately, this legal matter sounds like it will be easy for Vanessa to sort out. The same cannot be said for some of the other issues she could have while she continues to mourn the death of her husband and daughter.
Kobe Bryant has received a lot of love from LeBron James and other sports icons since the five-time NBA champion tragically died in a helicopter crash back in January, but Stephon Marbury seems to feel that some of the nice things that have been said about Kobe are disingenuous.
Marbury was a guest on Complex’s “Load Management” podcast recently, and he vented about people who “hated Kobe” now showering the Los Angeles Lakers legend in praise. Marbury also criticized LeBron James and others who have said they are going to carry out Kobe’s legacy. The former New York Knick said Bryant’s legacy is already established and that LeBron doesn’t need to continue it because he is “not no real Laker.”
"I see so many people saying so many great things about Kobe and they hated Kobe…" @StarburyMarbury is not here for that fake Kobe love.
— Complex Sports (@ComplexSports) March 10, 2020
“You don’t need to go and get guys like LeBron to go speak and talk about what they’re going to carry and all that,” Marbury said. “He doesn’t need you to carry his legacy. His legacy is his legacy. Carry your own legacy. Keep you poppin’ and going. You’re not no real Laker.”
Marbury added that he feels a special bond with Kobe because he played against him and was part of the same historically good 1996 NBA Draft class.
“So when you hear these guys saying this type of stuff and doing these types of things, I’m wondering what is it for,” Marbury said. “Is it for show or is it for real life?”
It’s unclear which players Marbury is referring to that hated Kobe, but LeBron should not be one of them. All indications are that Kobe and LeBron had strengthened their relationship after James signed with the Lakers, and LeBron was one of the last people Kobe spoke to before he died. Marbury seems like he is just trying to stir up controversy.
Authorities in Los Angeles say they are looking into how sensitive photos from the Kobe Bryant helicopter crash site were leaked to the public, and Vanessa Bryant has weighed in on the situation with a formal statement.
Vanessa Bryant’s legal team released a statement on her behalf Sunday blasting the Los Angeles Count Sheriff’s Department and Los Angeles County Fire Department for the “inexcusable and deplorable” behavior of some of its deputies.
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KANSAS CITY, Mo.–(BUSINESS WIRE)–Statement From Gary C. Robb, Legal Counsel on Behalf of His Client, Vanessa Bryant: Our client, Vanessa Bryant, is absolutely devastated by allegations that deputies from the Lost Hills Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department and Los Angeles County Fire Department publicly disseminated photos from the helicopter crash site. Mrs. Bryant personally went to the Sheriff’s office on January 26th and requested that the area be designated a no-fly zone and protected from photographers. This was of critical importance to her as she desired to protect the dignity of all the victims, and their families. At that time, Sheriff Alex Villanueva assured us all measures would be put in place to protect the families’ privacy, and it is our understanding that he has worked hard to honor those requests. First responders should be trustworthy. It is inexcusable and deplorable that some deputies from the Lost Hills Sheriff’s substation, other surrounding substations and LACOFD would allegedly breach their duty. This is an unspeakable violation of human decency, respect, and of the privacy rights of the victims and their families. We are demanding that those responsible for these alleged actions face the harshest possible discipline, and that their identities be brought to light, to ensure that the photos are not further disseminated. We are requesting an Internal Affairs investigation of these alleged incidents. Mrs. Bryant is grateful to the individual who filed an online complaint exposing these acts of injustice, and for the choice to protect human dignity. We ask that anyone else who has information as to the facts underlying these alleged grievous and shameful incidents contact our office at 816–474-8080 or email via www.robbrobb.com
A post shared by Vanessa Bryant (@vanessabryant) on
“This is an unspeakable violation of human decency, respect, and of the privacy rights of the victims and their families,” the statement read. “We are demanding that those responsible for these alleged actions face the harshest possible discipline, and that their identities be brought to light, to ensure that the photos are not further disseminated. We are requesting an Internal Affairs investigation of these alleged incidents.”
The Los Angeles Times first reported on Friday that deputies shared graphic photos — including some that showed remains — of the site where Kobe Bryant’s helicopter crashed. Officials became aware that the photos were shared just two days after the crash.
According to TMZ, one of the deputies showed the photos to a woman at a bar while trying to impress her. The bartender saw what happened and filed an online complaint with the Sheriff’s Department. The photos were also shared at the Lost Hills Sheriff’s substation, and deputies from other substations also reportedly took unauthorized photos on their cell phones.
Vanessa Bryant will unfortunately have to deal with a lot of legal trouble now in addition to losing her husband and 13-year-old daughter Gianna. She has already filed one lawsuit, and there could be more coming.