The world is in mourning over the death of the 41-year-old Los Angeles Lakers legend. The basketball star, who shared four kids with wife Vanessa Bryant, passed away on Sunday morning in a helicopter crash in Calabasas, Calif. Kobes 13-year-old daughter Gianna “Gigi” Bryant, along with seven other people, were also killed in the devastating crash.
At the time of the crash, the helicopter was believed to heading to Kobes Mamba Academy in Thousand Oaks, Calif. Kobe was the coach of his daughters basketball team, and fellow passengers on the helicopter included Gigis teammates and Kobes assistant coach.
As news of the crash emerged over the weekend, tributes for the beloved star began to appear online. In the tributes, its often mentioned how much Kobe loved his family and how much he enjoyed talking about them. In a 2018 interview with Alex Rodriguez for The Corp With A-Rod and Big Cat, Kobe explained how much family time meant to him, and why he started taking helicopters from his home in Orange County up to the Los Angeles area for basketball.
“Traffic started getting really, really bad,” Kobe said during the interview. “I was sitting in traffic and I wound up missing like a school play because I was sitting in traffic.”
“This thing just kept mounting, and I had to figure out a way that I could still train and focus on the craft but still not compromise family time,” Kobe explained. “So thats when I looked into helicopters and being able to get down and back in 15 minutes.”
While Kobes wife Vanessa offered to pick the kids up, Kobe told her he wanted to do it because being on the road for basketball often kept him away from home.
Kobe added, “Every chance I get to see them and spend time with them, even if its 20 minutes in the car, I want that.”
In addition to Gigi, Kobe and Vanessa are parents to Natalia Bryant, 17, Bianka Bryant, 3, and Capri Bryant, 7 months.
Our thoughts are with the families affected by this tragedy during this heartbreaking time.