While the late Los Angeles Lakers legend Kobe Bryant is cherished by his millions of fans worldwide, it’s his wife Vanessa who really knew him most. The lovely couple had a special kind of unbreakable bond that continues even after Kobe’s tragic passing last January.

Vanessa recently took to Instagram to commemorate the first time she laid eyes on Bryant way back in 1999. She described the encounter as love at first sight.

Kobe Bryant, who was 20 years old at the time, was just in his third season with the Lakers when he met the then 17-year-old Vanessa. The Black Mamba was trying his hand at a side career back then as an aspiring rapper. While that didn’t work out, Kobe eventually met the love of his life through those circles.

Just last year, Kobe also remembered his first date with Vanessa to Disneyland. The loving husband and wife revisited that moment by going to the same place 20 years later.

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Kobe Bryant and Vanessa’s undeniable chemistry were evident from the start, as they were soon engaged after just six months. They tied the knot in April 2001 and went on to have four adorable daughters, Natalia, Gianna, Bianka and Capri.

Sadly, Gianna was with the Lakers great in that horrific helicopter crash in Calabasas.

Kobe and Vanessa’s relationship, meanwhile, also had its fair share of trials and tribulations. Bryant’s alleged sexual assault case in 2004 greatly tested their marriage, but the pair weathered through that storm and repaired their union.

While the world continues to honor Kobe’s legacy in the hardwood, Vanessa’s heartwarming posts about her late husband show that Bryant was an even better person off the court.