The thing that endeared Kobe Bryant even more to his fans — and helped him gain a multitude of new fans — is that while he was coldhearted and bloodthirsty on the court during his Hall of Fame career, he was remarkably gentle and attentive with his four girls.
The many photos and videos of Bryant and daughter Gianna “Gigi” Bryant together sitting courtside or playing on a basketball court melted millions of hearts. They tragically perished along with seven other people on Jan. 26, 2020, when their helicopter went down in the mountains north of Los Angeles while en route to the Mamba Academy.
Bryant’s widow Vanessa posted a touching photo for her 8 million Instagram followers showing how her late husband doted on his second-oldest daughter.
“She started out playing soccer, which is one of my favorite sports as well,” Kobe Bryant said. “But then when she asked about learning the game of basketball, then I started teaching her piece by piece, and she started enjoying it and loved it, and now she plays every day. It’s been a joy to watch her grow and to be there every day for that process.”
Bryant was awed by his daughter’s fiery disposition when it came to competing in sports. It served as a mirror of who he was during a stellar career in which he earned five NBA titles. She also had her future mapped out for herself with aspirations of playing for the greatest dynasty in women’s college basketball, the Connecticut Huskies.
“Her temperament is a lot like mine. She’s extremely competitive, very fiery and backs down from no challenge,” Kobe Bryant said. “She has a mixture — she’s a good mix of me and a good mix of her mama, so that makes her even more competitive than I am.”
Click continue to check out Vanessa Bryant’s tribute video featuring Kobe and Gigi Bryant.