- The NBA legend Kobe Bryant and his 13-year-old daughter, Gianna “Gigi” Bryant, died on Sunday in a helicopter crash in Calabasas, California. He was 41.
- “The Black Mamba” was known as a fierce competitor and one of the greatest basketball stars to ever play in the NBA.
- Training and competing with the Los Angeles Lakers didn’t leave Bryant with much spare time, so he used helicopters to get around the notoriously traffic-heavy city and maximise his time with his family.
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Kobe Bryant had a lot on his plate.
From training and competing with the Los Angeles Lakers to incessantly pursuing business ventures, book deals, and media projects, the NBA legend known as “The Black Mamba” was constantly on the go.
Bryant, his 13-year-old daughter, Gianna “Gigi” Bryant, and seven others were killed in a helicopter crash on Sunday in Calabasas, California. They were en route to the Mamba Sports Academy in Thousand Oaks for basketball practice.
Since his playing days, Bryant had travelled around Los Angeles via helicopter to best balance his time between family and basketball.
“I had to figure out a way where I could still train and focus on the craft but still not compromise family time,” Bryant told Barstool Sports in 2018. “And so that’s when I looked into helicopters.”
He added: “My wife was like, ‘Listen, I can pick [the kids] up.’ I’m like, ‘No, no, no, I want to do that,’ because, like, you have road trips and times where you don’t see your kids, you know. So every chance I get to see them and spend time with them, even if it’s 20 minutes in a car, like, I want that.”
The story behind why Kobe used a private helicopter in and around Los Angeles…???????????????????? pic.twitter.com/f77OM6CtT8
— Rex Chapman???????? (@RexChapman) January 27, 2020
A 2010 GQ profile expounded on Bryant’s unique mode of transportation and how it helped him on the court:
“But sexy as it might seem, Bryant says the helicopter is just another tool for maintaining his body. It’s no different than his weights or his whirlpool tubs or his custom-made Nikes. Given his broken finger, his fragile knees, his sore back and achy feet, not to mention his chronic agita, Bryant can’t sit in a car for two hours. The helicopter, therefore, ensures that he gets to Staples Centre feeling fresh, that his body is warm and loose and fluid as mercury when he steps onto the court.”
Bryant was 41. He is survived by his wife, Vanessa, and three daughters, Natalia, Bianka, and Capri.
- Read more:
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- Madison Square Garden glows purple and gold to honour the late Kobe Bryant
- Remembering the highlights of Kobe Bryant’s illustrious career after his tragic death
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