Family man. Kobe Bryant wasn’t just a basketball legend — the late athlete was a devoted dad and husband to his wife and four daughters.
The Olympian, who died on Sunday, January 26, in a tragic helicopter crash, met his wife, Vanessa Bryant, in 1999 and married her two years later. The pair went on to welcome their eldest daughter, Natalia, in 2003, followed by Gianna three years later. Bianka and Capri arrived in 2016 and 2018, respectively.
The shooting guard and his second child were on their way to a basketball game in Thousand Oaks, California, when the chopper went down in Calabasas on Sunday. Kobe coached Gianna’s Athletic Amateur Union team, and the father-daughter tragically died in the crash along with the rotorcraft’s seven other passengers.
While Gianna was the only of the Philadelphia native’s daughters interested in following in his footsteps, Kobe and Vanessa worked to teach their girls “excellence” in anything they pursued.
As for their marriage, the couple, who met on the set of Snoop Dogg’s “Tha Eastsidaz” music video, maintained their successful relationship with “commitment” and “competitiveness,” the Wizenard Series: Training Camp creator said during a January 2020 appearance on Showtime Basketball’s All the Smoke YouTube series. (Vanessa filed for divorce from Kobe in 2011, but they reconciled two years later.)
“We’ve seen couples that have been, like, 85 years old and you look and you’re like, ‘Oh man, such an old, sweet couple,’ and I’d go talk to them because I want to know,” the NBA player explained at the time. “One time a guy goes, ‘Yeah it’s great, but she just kicked me out of the bed last night, I was sleeping on the couch last two nights.’ That’s all the beauty of it: having the persistence and determination to work through things — very, very tough things — and we’ve been able to do that.”
Keep scrolling to see the sweetest things that Kobe said about Natalia, Gianna, Bianka and Capri over the years.