Kobe Bryant Said His Daughter Gianna, 13, Wanted to Continue His Legacy Before Their Tragic Deaths
Kobe Bryant and his daughter Gianna, 13, were killed in a helicopter crash Sunday morning
After the NBA legend, 41, and Gianna, who was nicknamed Gigi, were killed in a Calabasas helicopter crash on Sunday morning, a video resurfaced on Twitter from a prior interview Bryant did on Jimmy Kimmel Live.
In the clip, Kimmel asked the retired athlete if Gianna wants to pursue a career in basketball just like her dad. “She does for sure. This kid, man,” Kobe said.
“The best thing that happens is when we go out and fans come up to me, and she’ll be standing next to me, and they’ll be like, ‘You gotta have a boy, you and [wife Vanessa] gotta have a boy, somebody else to carry on the tradition, the legacy,’ ” the proud dad explained.
“She’s like, ‘Oh, I got this. You don’t need a boy for that. I got this,’ ” he said. “I’m like, ‘That’s right, yes you do. You got this,’ ” he added.
In December, a clip from ESPN showed the father-daughter duo together courtside at a game and Bryant was seen coaching Gianna, who had a big smile on her face.
Earlier this month, the former NBA star — who retired in 2016 — revealed that he had recently started watching basketball all the time because of his 13-year-old daughter.
“Before Gigi got into basketball I hardly watched it, but now that’s she’s into basketball, we watch every night,” he told former NBA players Matt Barnes and Stephen Jackson on the Showtime Basketball podcast All the Smoke.
Bryant and his daughter also attended several Lakers games before the start of the new year, marking the first time he had been to a game since his jersey was retired in 2017.
“We just had so much fun because it was the first time I was seeing the game through her eyes,” the five-time NBA champion said of sharing the experience with his daughter.
“It wasn’t me sitting there, you know, as an athlete or a player or something like that, and you know it’s like about me, and I don’t like that,” he added. “It was her, she was having such a good time.”
Bryant and his daughter were on board the private helicopter when it went down on Sunday, reps for the former basketball player told TMZ Sports.
Emergency personnel responded but none of the nine people on board survived, a spokesperson for the LA county sheriff’s office said during a press conference.
Sources told ESPN that the helicopter was headed to a travel basketball game for Gianna.
Bryant is survived by Vanessa, 37, and their three other daughters Natalia, 17, Bianka, 3, and Capri, 7 months.
Spokespersons for Los Angeles County Sheriff’s office and LAPD did not immediately respond to PEOPLE’s request for comment.