The legacy Kobe Bryant has left behind after his tragic death this past Sunday is immeasurable. As each day passes, more and more of Bryant’s friends and fans are sharing their memories of the basketball phenom. But they’re not just swapping stories about his on-the-court feats. Instead, we’re hearing about what an incredible person Bryant was — as a friend, mentor, and father. In a segment aired by ESPN, for example, SportsCenter anchor Elle Duncan reflected a conversation she had with Bryant when she was eight months pregnant with her own daughter.
“I asked him for advice on raising girls, seeing as though he quite famously had three at the time, and he said just be grateful that you’ve been given that gift because girls are amazing,” Duncan said.
“His third daughter, Bianka, was about a year-and-a-half old at the time, so I asked if he wanted more children, and he said that his wife, Vanessa, really wanted to try again for a boy but was sort of jokingly concerned that it would be another girl,” she continued. “And I was like, ‘Four girls, are you joking? What would you think? How would you feel?’ And without hesitation he said, ‘I would have five more girls if I could. I’m a ‘girl dad.'”
That wasn’t the first or last time Bryant had raved about being a “girl dad.” In a 2018 interview with Jimmy Kimmel that’s making its rounds on the internet, we see the NBA legend gushing about his four daughters.
“I love my girls, man,” the former NBA star said. “It’s awesome… my wife wants a boy much more than I do.”
Duncan’s ESPN tribute went on to describe how Bryant would talk about his children and their accomplishments — especially Gianna, 13, who also passed in the helicopter accident.
“When it came to sports, he said that his oldest daughter was an accomplished volleyball player and that the youngest was a toddler, so TBD,” Duncan said. “But that middle one, he said, that middle one was ‘a monster. She’s a beast. She’s better than I was at her age. She’s got it.’ That middle one, of course, was Gigi.”
Bryant and his daughter, along with seven other passengers, were reportedly on their way to a girls basketball game at Mamba Sports Academy, which Bryant helped launch in 2018, in Thousands Oaks when the helicopter crash occurred.
“When I reflect on this tragedy and that half an hour that I spent with Kobe Bryant two years ago, I suppose it’s the only small source of comfort for me is knowing that he died doing what he loved the most: being a dad,” Duncan said. “Being a ‘girl dad.'”
Like what you see? How about some more R29 goodness, right here?