WATCH: Natalia Bryant Throws Out First Pitch On Lakers Night At Dodger Stadium To Honor Kobe Bryant
Natalia Bryant throws out the first pitch on Lakers Night at Dodger Stadium. Via Blake Williams of DodgerBlue.com

The Los Angeles Lakers were the theme of Friday night’s L.A. Dodgers game against the Atlanta Braves at Dodger Stadium. But instead of the usual honoring of the current team, the Dodgers opted to highlight Vanessa Bryant and her three daughters by having them throw out the first pitch in a night surrounding the late legend Kobe Bryant.

Both Kobe’s birthday — Aug. 23 — and Mamba Day — Aug. 24 — happened in the last two weeks, making Friday night a perfect chance to honor perhaps L.A.’s greatest sports icon. Vanessa and Kobe’s oldest daughter, Natalia Bryant, was tasked with throwing out the ceremonial first pitch.

In addition, Dodger players were seen wearing Kobe memorabilia throughout the night, including during pregame warmups and for the national anthem on the field.

Nearly four years after his tragic and untimely death, Kobe remains a staple figure in the Los Angeles community, and it is never more apparent than on nights like Friday. He was the star of a regular season baseball game at the beginning of September, with his family throwing out the first pitch and reciting the famous “It’s time for Dodger baseball” before first pitch.

There are very few family and city relationships like that of Los Angeles with the Bryant family. Vanessa and her three daughters have become pillars of L.A. sports any time they opt to make a public appearance. And although the Dodgers were unable to secure a victory, it’s surely a night that fans of the Dodgers, Lakers and Kobe won’t soon forget.

Jerry West wishes Bryant could have been there for statue unveiling

It was announced that the Lakers would be unveiling their statue of Bryant on Feb. 8, 2024 in keeping with Bryant’s two Lakers jersey numbers and his daughter Gianna Bryant’s famed No. 2 jersey. Former Lakers player and executive Jerry West, for one, wishes Bryant could have been there.

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