On Sunday January 26, 2020, the world lost sporting hero Kobe Bryant. The basketball legend, 41, tragically died in a helicopter crash, along with his 13-year-old daughter Gigi and seven others, when it crashed into a Californian hillside. While the reason for the crash is yet to be determined, CNN reports the helicopter pilot had requested to fly under special rules, in weather conditions that were worse than normal, particularly in terms of visibility. Bryant leaves behind his wife Vanessa, 37, and daughters Natalia, 17, Bianka, 3, and Capri, born in June 2019.
Bryant took his role as a father very seriously. “Being a father is the thing I am most proud of in this world; it’s my greatest accomplishment,” he told Maria Shriver after retiring. “I’ve learned so much, but perhaps the most profound thing has been the fierce, unconditional love you have for your children when you become a parent. I’m blessed to have had that experience four times now and there’s nothing more powerful in this world,” he continued. And it’s one of the main reasons he started using helicopters.
Bryant took helicopters to spend more time with family
In 2018, Bryant told Alex Rodriguez (via People), “I was sitting in traffic and I wound up missing like a school play. I had to figure out a way where I could still train and focus on the craft but still not compromise family time.” Ultimately, the main reason he used helicopters was so he could see more of his family.
“So that’s when I looked into helicopters, to be able to get down and back in 15 minutes and that’s when it started,” Bryant confessed.
However, according to People, Vanessa and Kobe made a deal to never fly together. “He and Vanessa had a deal that they would never fly on a helicopter together,” a source said. It can only be assumed that they made the pact in case the unthinkable ever happened, so there would always be someone to look after their girls.
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