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Bucks’ Giannis Antetokounmpo dedicates first IG post to Kobe Bryant after deactivating account

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It has been a week since a helicopter crash in Calabasas led to Kobe Bryant’s untimely death, and yet his impactful legacy continues to live on in players not only across the NBA, but also across the world of sports. Milwaukee Bucks superstar Giannis Antetokounmpo, who notably had a personal workout in 2018 with the Lakers legend, took to Instagram to post a dedication for his beloved mentor. He posted two photos, one of Bryant solo on the court and one of an All-Star game, where he was pictured with his daughter, Gianna “GiGi” Bryant. Gianna, affectionately nicknamed Mambacita by her father, was, unfortunately, one of the eight other victims of the crash.

Antetoukounmpo wrote in the caption “Mamba4Forever” and “Gigi4Forever,” as tribute to the father and daughter.

Following Sunday’s accident, the Bucks All-Star had an emotional interview with reporters, where he recalled his first meeting — a private conversation — with the Black Mamba, which he noted helped him “move forward” as a player. He also said that Bryant was one of the reasons he started playing basketball and is continuing to do so today.

The Greek Freak is indeed carrying on with Mamba mentality. After winning MVP last June, he is currently one of the top picks to win again this season. He has recently been named an All-star starter, and one of the team captains alongside Lakers superstar LeBron James.

The five-time NBA champion’s impact was also highlighted on Sunday’s Super Bowl LIV, where multiple players wore cleats dedicated to the legend. The pre-game ceremony also featured a tribute to all the victims who lost their lives last week, wherein 49ers’ and Chiefs’ players lined up on the 24-yard line for a moment of silence.