Basketball is one passion that Kobe Bryant and his 13-year-old daughter, Gianna "Gigi" Bryant, had in common. The pair died in a tragic helicopter crash on Sunday in the Los Angeles area, NBC News confirmed, alongside seven other people.
In their memory, a video from December started to circulate online, shared by fans and friends to honor the legacy of the father and daughter.
The touching moment showed the NBA legend breaking down the game to his daughter, a youth basketball player, while they sat courtside at the Barclays Center. The sweet moment combined his coaching and parenting techniques into one special bonding moment.
Bryant may have retired from the NBA in 2016 after a 20-year-long career, but he never left the court, opting to coach his daughter to his same degree of excellence. The former Los Angeles Lakers player wasn't seen at the Staples Center much after his retirement until he discovered his daughter's love for the professional basketball.
“You know what’s funny,” Bryant said on the "All the Smoke" podcast to Matt Barnes and Stephen Jackson on Jan. 9. “Before Gigi got into basketball I hardly watched it, but now that’s she’s into basketball, we watch every night.”
He continued, “We just had so much fun because it was the first time I was seeing the game through her eyes."
“It wasn’t me sitting there as an athlete or a player or something like that, and it’s about me, and I don’t like that,” he finished. “It was her, she was having such a good time.”
But Bryant's investment in his daughter's passion meant much more than just a past time for the pair. He hoped that his daughter would carry on his legacy.
During a 2019 appearance on "Jimmy Kimmel Live!", the basketball legend discussed his daughter's aspirations to play professional ball.
"The best thing that happens is when we go out and fans will come up to me and she'll be standing next to me and they'll be like 'You gotta have a boy, you and V gotta have a boy. You gotta have somebody to carry on the tradition and the legacy' and she's like, 'Oy, I got this. You don't need no boy for that,'" he told Kimmel.
Post-NBA, the 18-time All-Star used his expertise at the sport to coach his daughter's middle school basketball team as one of his projects.
"It's been fun," he told "Entertainment Tonight" back in December 2018. "We've been working together for a year and a half and they've improved tremendously in that time. I've got a group of great parents, a group of really, really intelligent, hardworking girls, and — they're all seventh graders, they're all 12 years old — but they've been playing so well."
He continued, highlighting what it was like to coach not only the middle school team but his daughter as well: "Gianna's pretty easy to coach. We haven't had any issues of dad-daughter sort of thing. She's very competitive and she's a hard worker, so there haven't been any issues with that."