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#pounditThursday, October 29, 2020

Kobe Bryant said Gianna was better at her age than he was

Kobe Bryant is inarguably one of the greatest basketball players who ever lived, but many of the touching anecdotes we have heard since his death on Sunday deal with the love and dedication he had for parenthood. The story shared by ESPN’s Elle Duncan on Monday illustrated that beautifully.

Duncan said she met Kobe one time when she was eight months pregnant, and she says Kobe lit up when Duncan told him she was having a girl. When Duncan asked for advice on raising a girl, Kobe told her to “be grateful because girls are the best.” Bryant also gushed about his oldest daughter being a standout volleyball player, but he said his middle daughter Gianna was a “beast” and better at basketball than Kobe was when he was that young.

Gianna also died in Sunday’s helicopter crash, making the story that much more heartbreaking. She was only 13, and two of her Mamba Academy teammates who died in the crash were the same age.

Kobe said after he retired that he didn’t watch much basketball until Gianna became a fanatic. That rekindled Kobe’s love for the game. Gianna was determined to play for the UConn women’s basketball team when she went to college, and the team honored her with a touching tribute on Monday night.

The more we learn about Kobe, the more it sounds like his accomplishments in fatherhood were more impressive than what he did on the basketball court. Wanting to spend more time with his children is the reason Kobe began traveling via helicopter in the first place.

More Larry Brown Sports coverage of Kobe Bryant’s death:

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Other victims of the helicopter crash:
John Altobelli, junior college baseball coach, also died in helicopter crash
Christina Mauser, girls’ basketball coach, among the helicopter crash victims
Sarah Chester, daughter Payton were also killed in Kobe Bryant helicopter crash
Ara Zobayan was the pilot in Kobe Bryant helicopter crash

Tributes to Kobe:
NBA players changing jersey numbers in honor of Kobe Bryant
Bill Belichick shares touching anecdote in tribute to Kobe Bryant
UConn honors Gianna Bryant with own jersey, spot on the bench
Dallas Mavericks retire Kobe Bryant’s No. 24 jersey
Video: Raptors, Spurs start game with amazing tribute to Kobe Bryant
Shaq posts heartfelt tribute to Kobe Bryant
Michael Jordan releases statement on death of ‘little brother’ Kobe Bryant
Video: Doc Rivers breaks down crying talking about Kobe Bryant
Phil Jackson calls Kobe Bryant ‘a chosen one’ in statement on his death
NBA commissioner Adam Silver issues statement on death of Kobe Bryant
Video: Dwyane Wade posts emotional message reacting to Kobe Bryant’s death
Kendrick Perkins extends olive branch to Kevin Durant after Kobe Bryant’s death
Video: Emotional Mike Breen sums up NBA world’s emotions about Kobe Bryant’s death
Trae Young’s huge game was full of Kobe Bryant-related statistical coincidences

More coverage:
Investigators release chilling drone footage from Kobe Bryant helicopter crash site
Video: Kobe Bryant helicopter audio released
Media errors, rumors, poor judgment run rampant in reporting of Kobe Bryant news
NBA postpones Tuesday’s Lakers-Clippers game after Kobe Bryant’s death
Kobe Bryant recently filed for ‘Mambacita’ trademark for daughter Gianna
Kobe Bryant checked in on Shaq’s son Shareef morning of helicopter crash
No, Rick Fox did not die in helicopter crash that killed Kobe, Gianna Bryant
Lakers fans start memorial to Kobe Bryant outside Staples Center
Kobe Bryant’s last tweet was congratulating LeBron James on passing him
Sports world stunned over Kobe Bryant news
Kobe Bryant dies in helicopter crash – dead at 41

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