The Latino community mourns the loss of Kobe and “Mambacita”

Late last night, Bad Bunny released a song called “6 Rings” in recognition of Kobe’s five championship rings and his wedding ring. The song is heartfelt tribute to Kobe’s life, reflecting on the first time San Benito saw him play, how much Kobe meant to him and how he (Kobe) inspired him to live with fierce passion.


Kobe Bryant meant so much to several different communities and no doubt his family, the city of Los Angeles, and the Lakers, will forever carry this pain with them.

L.A. was once part of Mexico and therefore Mexican culture can be found at every turn. Mexicans, along with other Latinx communities, make close to half of the population, which also means a large part of Kobe’s fan base is Latino.

Kobe married into the Latino fam; his wife, Vanessa, is Latina (Mexican) and his girls are Mexican/African-American Latinas, which makes Kobe part of our community, our tribe, like a querido “primo” or “cuñado.” Latinos have a lot of love for Kobe, and he had a lot of love for us as well, he even learned to speak Spanish out of respect for his Latino fans:

“My Latino fans are very important to me because they were the first ones who embraced me the most when I first got here…so I told them, ‘Give me two or three years so that I can learn a little bit of Spanish.” – Kobe Bryant 2016

The Latino community is mourning the tragic loss of not only Kobe “Black Mamba” but also “Gigi” Gianna Maria Onore, whose nickname was a perfect blending of both worlds, nuestra querida “Mambacita.”

TMZ reported that Kobe had just filed the nickname “Mambacita” for trademark last month. It seems (according to docs) the plan was to launch an apparel line.

Gigi had undeniable talent, already – at just 13 years old – she was carving out her own name. Her dream was to one day play for UConn and then carry on her father’s legacy in the WNBA.

The UConn Women’s Basketball honored her yesterday with her own jersey.

Our hearts are breaking for all the nine victims, the families that are now torn apart, children that lost their parents and siblings, and the parents who had their greatest fear come to pass, they lost a child, a spouse…on that fateful day.

Vanessa, Natalia, Bianka, Capri, con todo nuestro amor…




Marc Anthony closed his show with a tribute to Kobe, and choked back the tears as he sang “Vivir Mi Vida.”















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My heart hurts so much right now. I still can't wrap my head around this. How can it be? . I learned so much from Kobe Bryant. He was naturally gifted, but had a passion for basketball like no one else I've ever seen. His work ethic was impeccable and his stress on mastering the fundamentals is what elevated him to the player he was. I've never met anyone more focused with a myopic approach. He didn't pursue approval, affirmation or adulation. He pursued excellence and process. He followed my career and would often call to help with my health, daily routine … and would even chime in about hitting techniques. He was a role model to me, and millions around the world. . We met as teenagers. We followed similar paths. We went from high school to the pros and our baby girls grew up together. People don't know this, but he was my secret coach. He pushed me and motivated me, especially toward the end of my career when I needed him most. He was always there. Even after our playing days, he was there for me. He attended @Jlo's last show in Vegas. He appeared on TheCorp podcast. . I last saw him a few months ago. I will remember what he told me about how much he loved Vanessa and his girls, and that he continued to say no to 99 percent of offers, choosing instead to spend as much time with his family as possible. . I will remember his greatness. I will remember his guidance. I will remember his friendship. I will remember that he made me a better person. . His 13-year-old daughter Gianna was following in her Dad’s footsteps. She was kind, smart, caring and going to be a star. . Rest in peace, Kobe. Rest in peace, GiGi. My heart and prayers go out to the Bryant family and the passengers’ families.

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