5 Sweet Moments Between Kobe Bryant and Gigi
Retired Lakers legend Kobe Bryant and his 13-year-old daughter Gianna "Gigi" Bryant had a special bond marked by their love of basketball and each other.
Their lives ended suddenly when the father and daughter, along with seven others, died in a helicopter crash on Sunday. As friends and fans learned of their deaths, beloved memories of the pair flooded social media.
Here are five sweet moments from over the years:
A Daddy-Daughter Duo
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Dad and daughter had a heartwarming moment together at the end of Lakers game in 2009, when Gigi was just 3 years old. In a 2018 interview with Jimmy Kimmel, Kobe gushed about his daughter, saying she had dreams of playing in the NBA. When fans would tell him to have a son to have carry on his legacy, Kobe said, Gianna would push back. "She's like, 'I got this. Ain't no boy for that,'" Kobe said. "I'm like, 'That's right. Yes, you do. You got this.'"
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Kobe held Gianna as he waved to the crowd from the top of a double-decker bus at the start of the Lakers NBA Championship victory parade outside the Staples Center in 2009. Wife Vanessa and older daughter Natalia were also there to support the star.
Warming Up Together
Gianna was a star basketball player at Mamba Sports Academy, the school founded by her father. Kobe said in interviews that Gigi had a goal of playing for the women's team at the University of Connecticut. A few years ago, the two were spotted warming up together during the 2016 NBA All-Star Game.
Two Peas in a Pod
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This tender moment from 2014 shows Gigi and Kobe enjoying their interests together — sports. Kobe stands on the sideline with Gigi on his shoulders prior to the start of a soccer match between the United States and China in San Diego, California.
Passing Down the Game
Kobe and Gigi were often seen sitting courtside together at Lakers games. In one photo from Nov. 17, 2019, the father is pictured kissing his daughter on the head as she leans on him and smiles. Last month, videos of Kobe breaking down the game to Gigi went viral. The cute moment sparked a new "explaining" meme on Twitter, with people sharing the video along with their own captions about everyday life.
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