Like father, like daughter. Kobe Bryant was spotted explaining a basketball game to his 13-year-old, Gianna, while sitting courtside one month before their tragic deaths in a helicopter accident.
“Kobe and his daughter in the building, breaking down the game,” an ESPN announcer said from behind the camera during the December 21 Brooklyn Nets match against the Atlanta Hawks.
Kobe and Gigi courtside breaking down the game 📋 pic.twitter.com/FxqSjVx6ew
— ESPN (@espn) December 22, 2019
Another sportscaster added, “I love this.”
In the sweet moment, the late NBA player spoke to Gianna while pointing and making hand motions. She nodded along and smiled.
The following week, the father-daughter pair attended another game together, that time for the Los Angeles Lakers against the Dallas Mavericks on December 30. The teenager posed with the Texas team’s star Luka Doncic, while her dad was spotted chatting with Anthony Davis and LeBron James.
Us Weekly confirmed that the Philadelphia native died in a helicopter crash on Sunday, January 26. The private chopper went down in Calabasas, California, and caught fire, killing the pilot and all eight passengers on board, including Kobe’s daughter Gianna, according to TMZ. They were reportedly on their way to Kobe’s Mamba Sports Academy in Thousand Oaks for basketball practice.
The basketball legend, who retired in 2016 after 20 seasons and five championships, admitted that he was often asked when he and his wife, 37, would have a son.
“The best thing that happens is we’ll go out, and fans will come up to me and she’ll be standing next to me,” Kobe said of Gianna during an October 2018 Jimmy Kimmel Live! appearance. “And they’ll be like, ‘Hey, you gotta have a boy. You and Vanessa gotta have a boy to carry on the tradition, the legacy. And she is like, ‘Oy, I got this. You don’t need a boy for that, I got this.’ I’m like, ‘That’s right, you got this.’”
She played as a forward like her father for an Amateur Athletic Union team, which Kobe coached during the last two years of his life.
“Coaching youth sports is so important to take very seriously because you’re helping the emotional [development] of young kids,” he told USA Today Sports in his final interview on Thursday, January 24. “So it’s understanding not to be overcritical and understanding that [there] are going to be mistakes.”
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