Jeanie Buss calls Kobe Bryant 'family' in emotional note about Bryant's death

Yahoo Sports

Los Angeles Lakers owner Jeanie Buss considered Kobe Bryant family. In an emotional note Thursday, Buss opened up about Bryant’s death.

In an Instagram post, Buss shared a touching story about Bryant and his daughter, Gianna.

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Buss’ full note read:

“Kobe, I don’t know how to express what you mean to me, my family and the Los Angeles Lakers. My father loved you like a son, which makes us family. When you invited me to lunch shortly after my father passed away, I was struggling to find motivation and purpose. Kobe, you brought Gianna with you to spend some time with me. You explained that you wanted to show her that women can be leaders in the NBA, just like the men. At first, it seemed like an action of a devoted father setting an example for his daughter. But in actuality – and I am positively sure you knew EXACTLY what you were doing – what you did was give me the inspiration and strength I was searching for. I reflect on that day often and it makes me smile and it makes me strong. I call on that memory whenever I feel down and need a bit of courage. For everything you did on the court that filled me with so much joy and love, for all the lives you changed through basketball itself, it was that day with Gigi that reignited my drive and determination.

Vanessa, Natalia, Bianka, and Capri - I am so sorry for your loss. We are grateful to have you in our lives and we will always be here for you. To the families that also lost loved ones on Sunday, the entire Laker family mourns with you. Laker Nation - we are one family grieving the loss of people we all loved dearly. We will mourn together, cry together but we will also heal together, love together and win TOGETHER. We love you.”

At the end of Buss’s post, she encourages Lakers fans to go to MambaOnThree.org to “help the families affected by this tragedy.”

Bryant and Gianna, 13, were among the nine victims who died in a helicopter crash Sunday.

Since then, a number of players, teams and former NBA stars have offered their thoughts on Bryant, his loss and the impact he had on the NBA.

Given Bryant’s connection to the Lakers, members of the organization have taken time to grieve his death. After Tuesday’s game against the Los Angeles Clippers was canceled, the Lakers held an organizational luncheon to discuss Bryant. Lakers head coach Frank Vogel answered questions about Bryant on Wednesday, but Lakers players were not made available. Vogel said Lakers players will not speak to the media about Bryant until they are ready.

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