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Celebrities At The Los Angeles Lakers Game

Source: Allen Berezovsky / Getty

Los Angeles Lakers owner Jeanie Buss, who was close to Kobe Bryant during his illustrious career in LA, has publicly reacted to the superstar’s tragic death.

Buss took to Instagram with a heartfelt message, alongside a picture of the entire family smiling with Buss in the background, calling him a member of the family and how her father looked at Bryant as if he was his own son.

“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.

Buss went on to discuss the other huge lose in the Bryant family– Kobe’s 13-year-old daughter who was also in the helicopter when it crashed in Calabasas early Sunday.

“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.

A few days ago news broke that Buss and Lakers general manager Rob Pelinka traveled to the Bryant’s Orange County home to be with Kobe’s wife Vanessa. So in her Instagram caption, Buss made sure to take time to tell Vanessa that she’ll always be around if needed.

“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.”