A powerful video of Kobe Bryant praising his daughter, Gianna, has resurfaced, following both of their deaths in a tragic helicopter accident on Jan. 26.
The clip, filmed during a 2018 taping of “Jimmy Kimmel Live,” shows the five-time NBA champion describing Gianna’s love of basketball and her desire to someday follow in his footsteps as a professional player.
Bryant’s interview with Kimmel provided an uplifting moment during a heartbreaking day for the millions of NBA fans, who mourned the 41-year-old after he, his daughter and seven others died during a helicopter crash in Calabasas, Calif.
In the 2018 clip, Bryant gushes over Gianna, who was 13 at the time of her death. The NBA great begins describing his admiration for his daughter after Kimmel asks him about his experience as a coach for her basketball team.
"Do you think your daughter might wanna play in the WNBA?" Kimmel asks Bryant.
"She does for sure," Bryant responds. "This kid, man. Dude, man, I’m telling you."
"The best thing that happens is when we go out, and fans will come up to me and she’ll be standing next to me, and they’ll be like, 'You gotta have a boy, man. You and [your wife, Vanessa] gotta have a boy. Have somebody carry on the tradition, the legacy,'" he continues.
“And [Gianna is] like, ‘Oy! I got this! You don’t need no boy for that, I got this,'” Bryant says, laughing. “I’m like, ‘That’s right, yes you do. You got this.'”
Bryant had four daughters with his wife, Vanessa, including Gianna. The NBA legend had recently spoken with reporters about how Gianna, who he called Gigi, had reignited his interest in watching basketball.
"We just had so much fun because it was the first time I was seeing the game through her eyes," Bryant said of a Lakers game he attended with his daughter. "It wasn’t me sitting there you know as an athlete or a player or something like that, and you know it’s like about me, and I don’t like that. It was her. She was having such a good time."
A post shared by Kobe Bryant (@kobebryant) on Apr 14, 2019 at 8:25pm PDT
Bryant’s death led to an incredible outpouring of support from around the sports and entertainment world. On the day of his death, several NBA teams honored him by taking eight and 24-second shot clock penalties — a tribute to the two numbers worn by the Lakers legend.
Kobe was so much more than an athlete, he was a family man. That was what we had most in common. We love our families. Whenever we got together I would hug his children like they were my own and he would embrace my kids like they were his. His baby girl Gianna was born on the same day as my youngest daughter Me’Arah. I miss you already brother. This is truly unbelievable. Everyone please keep the Bryant’s in your prayers. R.I.P
A post shared by DR. SHAQUILLE O'NEAL Ed.D. (@shaq) on Jan 26, 2020 at 3:01pm PST