'MVP of girl dads' - Natalia Bryant pays tribute to Kobe in ceremony at TCL Chinese Theatre

ByABC7.com staff KABC logo
Thursday, March 16, 2023
Natalia Bryant pays tribute to Kobe in ceremony at Chinese Theatre
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Natalia Bryant delivered a heartfelt tribute to her father Kobe Bryant as a ceremony was held to honor the late NBA icon at the TCL Chinese Theatre in Hollywood.

HOLLYWOOD, LOS ANGELES (KABC) -- Natalia Bryant delivered a heartfelt tribute to her late father, Kobe Bryant, on Wednesday, as the NBA icon was honored with a new display at the TCL Chinese Theatre in Hollywood.

Kobe's handprints and footprints will now be on permanent exhibition in the forecourt of the legendary venue along Hollywood Boulevard.

"While most people knew him as a basketball player or a storyteller, I got to know and love him as my dad," Natalia said. "And let me tell you he is the MVP of girl dads to say the least."

Natalia Bryant, 20, said memories of watching films like the Star Wars, Harry Potter and Marvel series alongside her father inspired her to pursue a career in film.

"The reason behind it is I watched all of these movies with my dad," she recalled. "Each of those memories I will never forget. He is the reason I'm pursuing film in college. And he is the reason film has inspired me to create memories like ours for other people to even bring more fathers and daughters together like us."

Kobe Bryant's footprints and handprints will be on permanent display in the forecourt of the TCL Chinese Theatre on Hollywood Boulevard.

Bryant, who won an Oscar for his short film "Dear Basketball," placed his hands and feet in cement at the theater in 2011 as the first professional athlete to be offered that honor. Wednesday's ceremony marked the fixing of those prints as a permanent display in the forecourt.

Kobe's widow, Vanessa, and their daughters Bianka and Capri also attended the ceremony, as did Lakers owner Jeanie Buss and former player Byron Scott.

"It's truly astounding to be standing here in front of the Chinese Theatre in Hollywood forever displaying my dad's hands and footprints," Natalia said. "As you visit here for years to come, I encourage you to place your hands in his, and take a moment to stand in his shoes."

She recalled growing up that even when Kobe was working tremendously hard with the Lakers and on his movie project, he always made time for his daughters.

"Dad, you are an icon, a legend, a storyteller and most importantly the best girl dad any young woman could dream of."

"I'm honored to be here to represent you and our family and we are extremely proud of you. We will love you forever and always. Love, Natalia, Gianna, Bianka, Capri and Mommy."