The wife of the NBA star says she wouldn't care to be wed to someone who can't win championships

By Stephen M. Silverman
August 17, 2012 11:25 AM
Gregory Pace/BEImages

For Vanessa Bryant, winning is not only an essential. It’s everything. And so is her family.

“I certainly would not want to be married to somebody that can’t win championships,” the fashion figure and wife of Lakers star and five-time NBA champ Kobe Bryant tells New York magazine.

“If you’re sacrificing time away from my family and myself for the benefit of winning championships,” she says, “then winning a championship should happen every single year.”

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Married for 11 years, Vanessa, 30, and Kobe, 33, have endured their ups and downs – including her petition for divorce last year (she cited irreconcilable differences and terms for a settlement of his estimated $150 million estate were even negotiated). This was then followed by a reconciliation by this past Valentine’s Day.

Most recently the Bryants were again sharing the winning side of things with daughters Natalia, 9, and Gianna, 6, by attending the 2012 Summer Games in London, cheering on Roger Federer, Michael Phelps and Gabby Douglas.

Vanessa and the girls were also able to cheer on Kobe, who not only won the championship as part of Team U.S.A.’s Olympic basketball stars, but a gold medal.

“Kobe rarely left his wife’s side,” a source told PEOPLE. “They were very affectionate as he had one arm draped across her as she danced against him.”

Vanessa went on to tell New York, their marital relationship is currently still being patched up. She is quoted as saying, “Um, yes. We’re working on things.”

And, she released a statement to PEOPLE through her rep, saying that comments made in her interview with New York “are being misconstrued and taken out of context.”

“I have and will continue to support my husband’s dreams. I have been with Kobe for 13 years. I accepted his marriage proposal PRIOR to him winning any of his five championships with his teammates. For anyone to think otherwise is wrong. It is not about being married to a ‘winner,’ it is about our sacrifice as a family.”