A touching story told by ESPN reporter Elle Duncan shed light on how much Kobe Bryant loved being a father to his daughters. The Los Angeles Lakers legend passed away this Sunday (Jan. 26), alongside his 13-year-old daughter Gianna in a tragic helicopter crash.
“It’s likely that you’re hearing many personal anecdotes about Kobe Bryant, so here’s mine,” Duncan began. “I met Kobe one time, backstage at an event for ESPN in New York and I saw him and I thought, ‘Oh my gosh, that’s Kobe, I’ve gotta get a picture for the ‘Gram.’ I didn’t get it for a few minutes because as I approached him, he immediately commented on my rather large, eight-month, pregnant belly.”
“How are you!? How close are you? What are you having?” Duncan remembered Bryant excitedly asking her. “‘A girl,’ I said, and then he high-fived me. ‘Girls are the best,’ [he said].”
Duncan recalled asking Bryant for advice on raising daughters, since he was a father of three girls at the time.
“Just be grateful that you’ve been given that gift because girls are amazing,” Bryant told her.
Duncan asked Bryant if he and his wife Vanessa wanted any more children. Bryant replied that he did, but that Vanessa had jokingly worried about having yet another girl.
“Four girls! What would you think? How would you feel?” Duncan asked him.
“I would have five more girls if I could,” Bryant replied. “I’m a girl dad.”
Duncan also recalled Bryant mentioning his daughters’ athletic abilities, saying that his oldest daughter was a talented volleyball player and that his middle child Gianna was “a beast.”
“She’s better than I was at her age,” Bryant had said about Gianna’s basketball abilities. “She’s got it.”
“When I reflect on this tragedy and that half an hour that I spent with Kobe Bryant two years ago, I suppose that the only small source of comfort for me, is knowing that he died doing what he loved the most,” Duncan tearfully closed her tribute. “Being a dad. Being a girl dad.”
See her full story below.