The death of NBA legend Kobe Bryant has spurred many who knew him to share their most significant personal encounters with him. Bryant touched the lives of people in sports, entertainment, media, and beyond.
ESPN anchor Elle Duncan told the story of her one personal interaction with Bryant, which occurred backstage during an ESPN event in New York City. She approached him, not in her role as a member of the media, but rather more like a starstruck fan. She wanted to take a picture with him.
Before she even got to him, however, Bryant noticed her stomach — she was eight months pregnant. Bryant excitedly asked her when she was due and what she was having. When she told him she was having a girl, Bryant got even more excited. He was the father of three daughters at that time (and would have one more daughter later), and there was nothing that brought him more joy.
Bryant gave her a high-five and told her, "Girls are the best." She asked him for advice on raising a daughter.
"Just be grateful that you've been given that gift, because girls are amazing. ... I would have five more girls if I could. I'm a girl dad," Bryant told Duncan.
Bryant's love for his daughters was well-known, and he was often seen with his 13-year-old daughter, Gianna. Over the years, Gianna was like Bryant's shadow at games, events, and just around the city. She was the basketball player of the children, and even at a young age, it was undeniable that she was Bryant's daughter when you watched her play.
Gianna, Kobe, and seven others were on their way to a youth basketball game on the morning they were killed in a helicopter crash. Bryant famously traveled across L.A. by helicopter for years in order to maximize the amount of time he could spend with his family while balancing his busy schedule.
When he died, he was doing what he loved the most — sharing his life with his family. He is survived by his wife, Vanessa, and his three other daughters: Natalia (17), Bianka (3), and Capri (7 months).