Controversial figure Dr. Umar took aim at Vanessa Bryant during a recent appearance on The Joe Budden Podcast, accusing her of not contributing to the upliftment of the Black community with the money left by her late husband. Umar specifically criticized Bryant for initiating a “sports initiative” with six predominantly white colleges, expressing disappointment that none of them were Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCUs).
The initiative in question is the Mamba & Mambacita Sports Foundation, which announced partnerships with UConn, USC, Kentucky, Oregon, Duke, and LSU in September.
Despite Umar’s criticism, the Joe Budden crew largely opposed his views. One contributor argued that there are numerous instances of Black wives who inherit wealth and fail to contribute to the Black community. Umar’s statements were perceived as more of an attempt to be heard than to convey meaningful substance, a characteristic often associated with his public moments.
On a different note, earlier in the year, Vanessa Bryant revealed plans for a statue honoring her late husband Kobe Bryant at Crypto.com Arena. She expressed her gratitude for the Lakers, her daughters, and herself, stating, “I am so honored that, right here in the center of Los Angeles, in front of the place known as ‘The House that Kobe Built,’ we are going to unveil his statue so that his legacy can be celebrated forever.” The statue will join the likenesses of other Lakers legends, including Elgin Baylor, Shaq, Kareem Abdul-Jabbar, Magic Johnson, Jerry West, and Chick Hearn, as part of a designated statue walk.
The Lakers clarified that the statue had been in development for a while and highlighted Kobe’s involvement in the initial design process. They also announced plans for additional physical tributes to honor the late basketball star. Team owner Jeanie Buss emphasized that Kobe’s statue holds a special place in Los Angeles, where his extraordinary achievements can be celebrated and inspire future generations.
In light of Vanessa Bryant’s enduring challenges and tributes to Kobe’s legacy, it seems inappropriate to subject her to criticism about her business decisions at this point.