On the one year anniversary of his tragic passing, Kobe Bryant’s family has asked the NBA and all of its teams not to hold tributes for the late Los Angeles Lakers legend.
January 26, 2021 marks the one year anniversary of the helicopter crash that took the lives of Bryant, his 13-year-old daughter Gianna, and 7 others. Leading up to the awful day’s anniversary, many fans were wondering how the NBA would honor one of their brightest stars, anticipating tributes from the Lakers and other teams across the association.
News broke over the weekend that teams wouldn’t be holding tributes for the anniversary, which led many viewers to wonder why they would skip over such an important day. But according to reports, this was done at the specific request of Kobe’s family.
“If you notice, a lack of official tributes from organizations and the #NBA this week for Kobe Bryant, it is because his family has asked that teams do not do tributes this year,” reporter Jason Dumas tweeted on Monday.
Kobe’s widow, Vanessa Bryant, made another request to the media leading up to the anniversary of her husband and daughter’s death.
“I want to thank everyone that has handled their media coverage respectfully,” Vanessa wrote under a letter on Instagram on January 15. “To everyone else, please reconsider your ‘news story’ and look at your footage through the eyes of their children, parents, spouse, siblings and family. Celebrate their lives, not the day they lost them. In preparation of 1/26.”
In the letter, she addressed the media directly, requesting in advance that they not show any images from January 26, 2020. She reminds us of the fact that there are thousands of photos of Kobe and Gianna to show from the rest of their lives, saying the families of the victims simply don’t want to see any photos from that fateful day.
“Dear media, please be considerate when airing or posting remembrance footage. We ask that you do not air photos of the wreckage, helicopter in the air or accident scene,” the letter reads. “We do NOT want to see it. Our year has been traumatic enough.”
She continues, “You have thousands of photos and videos you can show beside footage of 1/26/20. We hope videos of remembrance are done in a classy and tasteful manner that is respectful of all our losses. Thank you.”