Kobe Bryant was a devoted father to the very finish, with out even realizing it.
On Saturday evening (Jan. 25), simply hours earlier than he and his 13-year-old daughter Gianna died together with seven others in a helicopter crash in Calabasas, California, Kobe was seen spending high quality time along with his 3-year-old daughter Bianka.
The footage shows them playing at the shopping center’s koi pond and walking through the stores.
We’re told they looked adorable together — just enjoying each other’s company.
The Bryants were regulars at the mall and other local spots. In other words, it wasn’t unusual to see Kobe around town with his kids.
At that moment, Kobe had no idea that would be the last time his 3-year-old daughter would see him alive, which makes the footage extremely devastating to watch.
Not even 24 hours later, on Sunday morning (Jan. 26), Kobe and Bianka’s older sister Gianna (aka “GiGi”) were tragically killed when the helicopter they were flying in crashed en route to GiGi’s basketball game at Kobe’s Mamba Sports Academy in Thousands Oaks.
GiGi’s team, the Lady Mavericks, were playing in the Mamba Cup basketball tournament and Kobe was expected to coach.
The tournament was later canceled and video footage showed the team in a somber moment mourning Kobe, GiGi and the other passengers’ tragic deaths.
Spending quality time with his four daughters was very important for Kobe, which is why he even started riding in helicopters in the first place.
In a 2018 interview with the Barstool Sports podcast “The Corp With A-Rod and Big Cat,” Bryant said his decision to use helicopters as a method of transportation came from him wanting to be a doting dad while also trying to balance his job as a star player for the Los Angeles Lakers.
As most people know, L.A. traffic is the absolute worst. And with his wife and kids living in Newport Beach, and him working over 40 miles away in Los Angeles, solely relying on ground transportation would make it nearly impossible for him to be an always present dad while also being able to regularly train and attend practices with his teammates.
“Traffic started getting really, really bad, right? And I was sitting in traffic, and I wound up missing, like, a school play because I was sitting in traffic,” he explained.
“I had to figure out a way where I could still train and focus on the craft but still not compromise family time. And so that’s when I looked into helicopters, to be able to get down and back in 15 minutes. And that’s when it started.”
Kobe said riding in a helicopter provided him with the privilege of being able to fly back home to Orange County after practice in time to “get back in the carpool line” to pick his kids up from school
“My wife was like, ‘Listen, I can pick ’em up.’ I’m like, ‘No, no, no. I want to do that,’” he recalled.
“Because, like, you have road trips and times when you don’t see your kids, man,” he added. “So like every chance I get see them and spend time with them, even if it’s 20 minutes in the car, like, I want that. Right? So that would be my routine.”
Kobe Bryant on why he began traveling by helicopter: https://t.co/waTOwHcG4J
“I wound up missing like a school play because I was sitting in traffic— I had to figure out a way where I could still train…but still not compromise family time.” ?pic.twitter.com/ELxdar7fhg
— Complex (@Complex) January 27, 2020
It’s unhappy understanding that the identical factor that allowed a busy father to spend extra time along with his kids additionally took him away from them. Even sadder is the undeniable fact that certainly one of his kids perished together with him.
All 9 passengers of the helicopter have since been recognized, together with Kobe and GiGi, husband-and-wife John and Keri Altobelli, ages 56 and 46, respectively, their daughter, Alyssa, 45-year-old Sarah Chester and her daughter Payton, Christina Mauser, 38, a basketball coach at Gianna’s college, and the pilot, Ara Zobayan, who was 50.
An investigation has been launched to find out what precisely prompted the copter to crash, although officers are speculating that heavy fog in the space performed a main position in the tragedy.
It’s been mentioned that Zobayan was a very skilled pilot who had flown Kobe and his household (and different celebs like Kylie Jenner) in that very same helicopter for years.
It was simply two months in the past that Kylie rented the Sikorsky helicopter for her niece Dream’s (Rob Kardashian’s daughter) third birthday.
Kylie addressed the crash on Monday (Jan. 27) by way of her Instagram tales, posting a picture that includes all 9 victims together with a poignant message about at all times protecting your family members shut.
“Rest in peace..and prayers to these families,” she wrote. “I still can’t believe this. That was the helicopter I would fly on from time to time with that pilot, Ara. He was such a nice man. Hold your loved ones close.”
As of Monday afternoon, officers mentioned they’d solely been in a position to get better three of the 9 our bodies from the crash website, although they didn’t specify the IDs of the victims who’ve been discovered.
Officials labored effectively into Sunday evening, however had been pressured to droop the search as a consequence of darkness and security issues, TMZ reported. They continued their search Monday morning, however haven’t launched any updates about whether or not another stays had been recovered.
Kobe and Gianna Bryant are survived by spouse/mother Vanessa, and daughters/sisters Natalia (who simply turned 17 years outdated on January 19th), 3-year-old Bianka, and Baby Capri, who will rejoice her first birthday on June 20th.