Russell Wilson was thinking of Kobe Bryant and his late daughter, Gianna Bryant, after winning the NFC West championship on Sunday.
The 32-year-old Seattle Seahawks quarterback shared an emotional video on Tuesday on Instagram, in which he spoke about the late NBA star's legacy. Wilson wore a black #8 Kobe jersey as he walked around the empty Lumen Field stadium after the big win, as well as the Nike Zoom Kobe 6 "Grinch" sneakers he shared were given to him by Bryant's wife, Vanessa Bryant.
Wilson spoke about idolizing Bryant and also praised Gigi.
"Kobz, you were an inspiration to me growing up," Wilson said. "You were an inspiration to me once I got in the NFL, and was a pro, because I always watched how you did everything with grace, always worked hard at everything."
"You know Gigi, you were an inspiration to so many girls. Kobe, you were a girl dad," he added.
"Your family means a lot to my family," Wilson said. "We love you all. For this game, we had to bring the Mamba Mentality."
"Kobe, I thank you for the Mamba Mentality," he continued. "Thank you for how you encouraged me, how you encouraged others, how you encouraged young girls around to be the best athletes they can possibly be, the best people you could be, how you wrote books."
Bryant and his 13-year-old daughter died in a devastating helicopter crash in January, and clearly, his death has left a lasting impact on his fans and friends.
"This is what I really found out in 2020: Life is so much bigger than just this game," Wilson said. "As much as I love this stadium ... It comes down to our family, it comes down to our loved ones, it comes down to grace, it comes down to, you know, how we treat each and how we love one another. And the one thing that I've found out and really understood in 2020 is just that, nothing's promised. Nothing's promised. The good thing is, there is hope. Hope lies in god, it lies in our faith, it lies in a new day."