The start of a passionate and tumultuous romance that ended in tragedy in 2020 ?
This is truly a photo of young love. Vanessa Laine, was only 18 years old attending Marina High School when Kobe proposed and then a month later took home the first of his five championship rings in June of 2000 (pictured).
Bryant met Laine when he stopped by the filming of a hip hop video where his future fiancé was acting as a background model. The two hit it off and were inseparable from then on out.
After winning his first NBA championship, Bryant and his fiancé skipped her prom and instead went to Italy to celebrate. That’s not a bad way to start off the decade.
After tying the knot at St. Edward Roman Catholic Church in 2001, Kobe and Vanessa began a long, and tumultuous journey as a couple. Kobe’s parents didn’t attend the wedding, and neither did his agent, which made it look like the union was off to a less than auspicious start.
Even so, in 2002 the couple moved into a $4 million home in Newport Beach while Kobe continued to dominate with the Lakers. His estrangement from his family ended just a year later when the couple’s first child was born on January 19, 2003.
The couple was one of the most revered of the 2000s, even if they had their ups and downs. Sadly, just as Kobe started growing into an all-star dad and husband, tradgedy struck when his helicopter crashed killing him, his daughter, and several others.