Kobe Bryant Used Helicopters Because of His Girls

He explained to Alex Rodriguez in 2018 that traffic was causing him to miss events
By Evann Gastaldo,  Newser Staff
Posted Jan 27, 2020 2:59 PM CST

Kobe Bryant and his 13-year-old daughter, Gianna, died in a helicopter crash Sunday en route to one of Gianna's basketball games—and, tragically, People reports the reason Bryant used helicopters in the first place was because of his four daughters. Bryant lived in Orange County and traveled to Los Angeles to practice with the Lakers, which sometimes made it difficult for him to drop off and pick up the girls at school, or make it to their events. "Traffic started getting really, really bad," Bryant recounted during a December 2018 interview with Alex Rodriguez for a Barstool Sports podcast. "And I was sitting in traffic and I wound up missing like a school play … I had to figure out a way where I could still train and focus on the craft but still not compromise family time."

A 15-minute helicopter ride emerged as the solution. He added that his wife, Vanessa, offered to pick up the girls from school instead, but it was important to him that he do it. "You have like road trips and times where you don’t see your kids. … So every chance I get to see them, to spend time with them, even if it’s 20 minutes in the car, I want that." Rodriguez mourned Bryant in an Instagram post Sunday, noting the two athletes met as teens and supported each other over the years. "We went from high school to the pros and our baby girls grew up together," he wrote. "I last saw him a few months ago. I will remember what he told me about how much he loved Vanessa and his girls, and that he continued to say no to 99 percent of offers, choosing instead to spend as much time with his family as possible." (More Kobe Bryant stories.)

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