“How Vanessa Bryant caused a rift between Kobe Bryant and his dad”: The story behind the infamous picture of the Lakers legend sulking with the Larry O’Brian trophy

Kobe Bryant was a winner in every part of his life. Yet, his most iconic photograph is one that portrays him in a sad light.

The five-time NBA champion has been under the spotlight since he was drafted out of high school. Throughout his career, Kobe has been one of the most influential players in the league.

It is no surprise that whenever he is involved in anything, the league took notice. Perhaps, one of the most recognizable Kobe moments is a picture of him holding the Larry O’Brien trophy.

While most champions would be elated, Kobe looked sullen. The photograph has become one of the most iconic NBA pictures of all time.

Also read: “Kobe Bryant’s spirit was definitely in the building tonight!”: Kyrie Irving talks about his Mamba inspired outfit after dropping a spirited performance

Why was Kobe Bryant sad after winning an NBA championship?

Players dream of winning an NBA title and to feel like a pang of sadness is not something you would associate with victory. However, for Kobe, the win came without the support of his family, especially his father.

In the picture, Kobe is seen wearing an incredibly detailed and well embossed Jeff Hamilton jacket while clutching the Larry O’Brien trophy.

The reason why Kobe looked gloomy, was because his parents did not come to watch a single game of the NBA Finals. The reason? His marriage to Vanessa Cornejo Urbieta.

Vanessa hailed from a Latin-American heritage and Kobe’s parents wanted him to get married to someone of African-American descent.

Kobe has often talked about how much Vanessa caught his heart and how much he loved her. Just six months after their first encounter, they were engaged.

The engagement was to the dismay of his father, Joe Bryant and ultimately his marriage to Vanessa caused fractures between Kobe and his dad.

His parents disparaged his relationship and marriage. They opposed it15 so much that they did not even come to attend their son’s most important basketball games. His immediate family even refused to attend the wedding.

Despite this, he had a career year and won the championship. It is said that his relationship with his parents was never fully patched up.

According to various reports, just before his passing, Kobe was mending his relationship with his dad. It is incredibly sad to learn that his most iconic picture will be associated with heartbreak and not jubilance.

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