In the aftermath of the tragic incident that took the lives of nine people, including NBA legend Kobe Bryant, it became known that shortly before his death, the popular basketball player had expressed the desire to take on animation.
Recent reports suggest that the Lakers icon even got in touch with the creator of The Proud Family, Bruce W. Smith, and the two of them met over dinner to discuss Kobe’s idea to start an animation studio.
According to Smith, Bryant was heavily invested in the idea of his animation project, and he had spent the last six months of his life planning how he would do it.
Apparently, besides developing Mamba Academy after his retirement from professional basketball, Kobe also wanted to dedicate himself to creating animated movies.
According to The Proud Family creator Bruce W. Smith: “Kobe was heavily invested, at the time, in starting an animation studio. So for the past six months or so, Kobe and I had been in deep talks about making that happen.”
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My girls and I want to thank the millions of people who’ve shown support and love during this horrific time. Thank you for all the prayers. We definitely need them. We are completely devastated by the sudden loss of my adoring husband, Kobe — the amazing father of our children; and my beautiful, sweet Gianna — a loving, thoughtful, and wonderful daughter, and amazing sister to Natalia, Bianka, and Capri. We are also devastated for the families who lost their loved ones on Sunday, and we share in their grief intimately. There aren’t enough words to describe our pain right now. I take comfort in knowing that Kobe and Gigi both knew that they were so deeply loved. We were so incredibly blessed to have them in our lives. I wish they were here with us forever. They were our beautiful blessings taken from us too soon. I’m not sure what our lives hold beyond today, and it’s impossible to imagine life without them. But we wake up each day, trying to keep pushing because Kobe, and our baby girl, Gigi, are shining on us to light the way. Our love for them is endless — and that’s to say, immeasurable. I just wish I could hug them, kiss them and bless them. Have them here with us, forever. Thank you for sharing your joy, your grief and your support with us. We ask that you grant us the respect and privacy we will need to navigate this new reality. To honor our Team Mamba family, the Mamba Sports Foundation has set up the MambaOnThree Fund to help support the other families affected by this tragedy. To donate, please go to MambaOnThree.org. To further Kobe and Gianna’s legacy in youth sports, please visit MambaSportsFoundation.org. Thank you so much for lifting us up in your prayers, and for loving Kobe, Gigi, Natalia, Bianka, Capri and me. #Mamba #Mambacita #GirlsDad #DaddysGirls #Family ❤️
He added: “It is still completely unbelievable. Like I still have not completely wrapped my head around the fact that Kobe’s not here. Totally heartbreaking.”
One fan reached out to Kobe’s widow Vanessa by saying: “My heart breaks for you yet also rejoices you..you both we’re an exemplary Union, marriage, mother, father, and family anyone would be so lucky to have experienced in their lifetime. God truly blessed you all. We all feel the love here and everything you share with us of your precious Gigi and Kobe. This love right here that we all see is what life is all about… God Bless you and your family, Vanessa. 🌹🌹🌹🌹”
However, the sudden demise of the NBA star left millions of people heartbroken, including Smith, who stated that for him, it was still completely unbelievable that Kobe was dead, and he still has not completely wrapped his head around this fact.
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Missing you both so much #GigiBryant and @kobebryant MUSE documentary ❤️ Even missing your “earthquakes”- (leg shakes) song is XO by @beyonce Your love is bright as ever Even in the shadows Baby kiss me Before they turn the lights out Your heart is glowing And I'm crashing into you Baby kiss me Before they turn the lights out Before they turn the lights out Baby love me lights out In the darkest night hour (in the darkest night hour) I'll search through the crowd (I'll search through the crowd) Your face is all that I see I'll give you everything Baby love me lights out Baby love me lights out You can turn my lights out We don't have forever Ooh, baby daylight's wasting You better kiss me Before our time has run out Mmm yeah Nobody sees what we see They're just hopelessly gazing, oh Oh, baby take me, me Before they turn the lights out Before our time has run out Baby love me lights out In the darkest night…
The movie director and his crew paid a touching tribute to the late basketball legend during the recent Academy Awards ceremony.
The tribute was made by Matthew A. Cherry, who upon receiving the Best Animated Short Oscar for Hair Love with Karen Rupert Toliver, stated that the award was dedicated to Kobe and he wished for everyone to have a “second act as great as he was” in reference to Kobe’s activity after retiring from basketball.
Kobe was the winner of the prestigious award back in 2018 when he dominated with his animated short film, Dear Basketball.