The fatal helicopter crash that claimed the life of the former Los Angeles Lakers basketball player, Kobe Bryant, also saw the death of his 13-year-old daughter, Gigi, who accompanied her father on that fateful trip. Bryant, who was nicknamed Mamba by his fans, was a husband to Vanessa Bryant, and father to four daughters, Natalia, Bianka, Capri, and Gigi. That is not all; the five-time NBA champion is also survived by his parents, Joe and Pam Bryant, and two sisters – Shaya Bryant-Tabb and Sharia Bryant-Washington. This write up is poised to explore the details on Kobe Bryant’s kids, his wife, mother, father, siblings, and many more.
Meet The Basketball Player’s Parents
Kobe’s 6 feet 9 inches tall father, Joe Bryant, was probably born for the sport. Though Joe was not as famous as his son, he was also a basketball player. He helped steer Kobe towards his career path, and even after retiring from professional play, Joe continued to impact knowledge and invest in young talents as a coach.
On the other hand, Kobe’s mom, Pam Bryant, is the sister of the famous NBA star, Chubby Cox. His two older sisters are Sharia Bryant-Washington (who is also an athlete) and Shaya Bryant-Tabb, as previously mentioned. Though Kobe is apparently the baby of the house and the only son, he had a strained relationship with his parents and sisters in the earlier part of his adult life.
Kobe Bryant’s relationship with his parents appeared to be good when he headed to the National Basketball Association, but things became strained when his parents made some attempts at selling some of the player’s memorabilia. During his interview with ESPN in 2016, Bryant revealed that the incident worsened his relationship with his parents, and they had not been on speaking terms since 2013.
We cannot categorically say whether there was reconciliation between Bryant and his parents before his death. However, Wayne Slappy, who is one of the athlete’s former coaches, indicated that the Bryant family was well on their way to reconciling after witnessing a hug between father and son at a basketball camp. It is true that every family has their own issues, but this healing is going to be too tough on the senior Bryant and his wife with their son’s demise.
Kobe Bryant Had A Simple Love Life
Kobe Bryant was a young rapper when he met his wife, Vanessa Cornejo Urbieta, known today as Vanessa Laine Bryant. Though that career path was short, Bryant was grateful to have met his soul mate while shooting the video for one of his songs then.
The mother of Kobe Bryant’s kids was born on the 5th of May 1982 to Mexican parents who got divorced while Vanessa was still in her diapers. She passed through Marina High School and was already trained and working as a dancer when fate brought her together with Bryant. Though Vanessa was still a teenager at that time, the lovebirds didn’t hesitate to commence a relationship that graduated into marriage during the spring of 2001.
The duo stayed together till Bryant’s death; even in the face of a sexual scandal on her husband’s side, the basketball player’s wife decided to stick with her husband through thick and thin. Interestingly, the duo didn’t sign any prenuptial agreement before marriage; Vanessa could have taken advantage of the situation to claim her half of Bryant’s $150 million fortune, but she decided against it for the love of her spouse. As such, you can imagine the hurt she went through at the news of his death.
Who Are Kobe Bryant’s Kids?
It takes just one look at Kobe Bryant’s kids for anyone to understand why the basketball legend was considered successful, both professionally and personally. Kobe and Vanessa Bryant became parents for the first time in January 2003 when their first daughter Natalia Diamante was born. Natalia enjoyed the privileges of an only child for about four years before her sibling, Gianna Maria-Onore, came along.
The deceased NBA star became a father of three in December 2016 when his daughter Bianka Bella joined the family. Interestingly, unlike her older sisters, Bianka, who arrived just the year before her father’s retirement also enjoyed certain privileges. That was because her dad had more time to spend with the family while she was growing up. Bryant’s latest family member Capri Kobe arrived in June 2019. The five-time NBA champion’s fourth princess whose name uniquely pays tribute to her famous father is fondly called Koko. Capri’s arrival means that Kobe remained the only man in the Bryant household till his death.
Even with four kids, the Los Angeles Lakers legend had hinted that he and his wife may still have another child. Though the celebrity athlete was comfortable having only girls and didn’t mind being out-numbered, he claimed Vanessa wants a boy more than he did. While he hoped to deliver on that, Kobe said the decision for another child was solely Vanessa’s to make. Contrary to the popular opinion that it takes a real man to make a boy, Kobe Bryant believed it takes a king to make a princess.
Kobe Bryant’s kids are definitely missing their dad as the Lakers icon was a hands-on dad at the time of his death. According to Bryant, he would rather stay home to give Bianka a shower and sing her Barney songs rather than go to watch a Laker’s game, not that he wouldn’t love to go anyway. He acknowledged the fact that he missed those moments after playing for two decades; however, taking that trip to Staples Center only means that he is missing a good opportunity to spend another night in the company of his daughters when he knows how fast it goes. The deceased hero made sure that the days he spent away from his family were days that he absolutely had to, he confessed that he would rather spend time with them than do any other thing.
Kobe Bryant’s Second Daughter, Gigi
Bryant’s second princess, who was born on May 1, 2007, seemed to be the child who inherited the five-time NBA champion’s athletic genes and talent. Going by Bryant’s social media posts, Gianna, whom he was already coaching her school’s basketball team, may have just been the offspring to carry on Bryant’s career legacy. However, the hand of fate has made that impossible as Gigi died along with her dad on that fatal helicopter crash.
His Relationship With His Siblings
With the details about Kobe Bryant’s kids well outlined, we cannot forget to mention his surviving siblings – Shaya and Sharia, who were equally devastated by the news of his demise. Though his two sisters have never been part of the spotlight, the basketball legend spoke briefly about his relationship with them on ESPN. According to the late athlete, he will always be proud of them; he also admired their independence as both were able to forge ahead in the separate careers without any impute from him.
He described them as college-educated and very smart; Bryant voiced his admiration about how they have led their lives. They excelled in taking care of their affairs, getting jobs for themselves, getting their lives together instead of relying on him and being resentful in the end. He also said that he saw them as having a better sense of self for their efforts, something that was quite tough for him to do but he was really strong about it because it was something he had to do.
The State Of His Family After His Death
According to Vanessa, words were not enough to describe the pain the family is passing through, but she takes solace in the knowledge that her husband and daughter knew that they were both deeply loved. She described Gigi as a wonderful and thoughtful daughter and an amazing sister. For Bryant, she described him as an adoring father and husband.
However, she also said that she is not sure of what the future holds for them as she cannot imagine life without Bryant and Gigi, but takes comfort in knowing that Kobe, and their girl, Gigi, are shining on them to light the way; thus they have to wake up every day and try to keep pushing.
His parents and sibling are also sharing in the grief of his demise, especially his mum and dad, who have since apologized to their son for auctioning off his memorabilia.