On Sunday morning, the shocking news came in that the legendary NBA player, Kobe Bryant, had died in a helicopter crash. He was just forty-one-years-old.
The world has been in mourning ever since the tragedy, and people have been remembering him for his legendary moments on and off the court.
Though he was best known for his skills on the basketball court, many have been remembering him for being a down-to-earth family man, and have been reminiscing about some of the best things he had to say about his daughters and life as a dad.
Scroll to the end to watch what one ESPN anchor said on SportsCenter and why #girldad has gone viral.
Kobe Bryant tragically died in a helicopter crash yesterday morning.
via: Getty ImagesThe NBA star's private helicopter crashed in Calabasas, TMZ sports confirmed.
Kobe was known for opting to use a helicopter for travel...
via: Getty ImagesBut tragically, on this occasion, his private helicopter went down and a "fire broke out."
During a press conference, it was confirmed there were no survivors.
And, even more devastatingly so...
via: Getty ImagesOne of Bryant's daughters, Gianna, was also on board the helicopter at the time of the crash.
Gianna Bryant, aged only thirteen, also passed away in the tragedy.
via: GettyTMZ Sports reports that Gianna died in the crash alongside her dad.
It is an unimaginable loss for the Bryant family.
via: GettyIt is believed that the father and daughter were on their way to the Mamba Academy for Gianna’s basketball practice, nearby Thousand Oaks.
Gianna was a budding basketball star...
via: GettyAnd was due to play in the tournament, while her dad coached the team.
Gianna shared her dad's passion for the game...
via: GettyAnd the teenager had reportedly dreamed of following on in his footsteps by one day becoming a professional basketball player herself.
And Kobe fully supported his daughter's passion.
via: TwitterHe would regularly take her along to women's basketball games, as well as taking her to and coaching her throughout her own games.
The world has gone into mourning...
via: GettyAnd people have been coming together to remember the NBA legend's finest moments.
Off the court...
via: TwitterKobe was a down-to-earth family man.
The Lakers player married his high school sweetheart, Vanessa, back in 2001...
via: GettyAnd they went on to have 4 daughters together - Natalia, Gianna, Bianka, and Capri.
They became the most idyllic family.
Kobe was one proud dad...
via: GettyAnd he would regularly gush about his daughters in both TV interviews and his social media posts. Keep reading to see some of his best quotes about his daughters and life as a father to 4 daughters...
1. Gianna's 12th birthday post.
2. "Daddy the Elephant for our little Bianka."
3. Discussing being the only male in an all-female household.
via: GettyIn July 2017, Kobe gushed about his all-female household. "My friends say, ‘It takes a real man to make a boy,'" he told Extra. “I’m like, ‘Dude, it takes a king to make a princess. Get in line.’"
4. He always prioritized his family over his career.
via: GettyIn a 2019 interview with the Los Angeles Times, Kobe discussed how he would always choose his family over basketball. "I have a life and I have my routine at home... It’s not that I don’t want to go [to Lakers games] but I’d rather be giving [Bianka] a shower and sing Barney songs to her." "I want to make sure the days that I’m away from them are days that I absolutely have to be. I’d rather be with them than doing anything else."
5. Kobe couldn't hide his pride when it came to Gianna's skills and "curiosity" on the court.
via: GettySpeaking to the Los Angeles Times in the same interview, the proud dad gushed: "What I love about Gigi is her curiosity about the game. She’s very curious. Even in a heated situation in a game where it’s going back and forth, she can detach herself and come to me and ask a very specific question, which is not common." "She’ll come over and say, ‘OK, on this particular trap when I’m trying to close the gap but she’s getting on the outside, do I need to change my angle?’ It’s a very specific question. That’s pretty damn cool."
6. And he just loved coaching GiGi.Entertainment Tonight of coaching Gianna in December 2018. "She's very competitive and she's a hard worker, so there haven't been any issues with that."
7. He had opened up about Vanessa's desire to have a baby boy... But he just loved having daughters.
via: GettySpeaking to Extra in March 2019, Kobe explained, "I love having girls - I’m super, super excited about that. She is as well. She wanted a boy so he can be mama’s boy forever — that sort of thing." "We’ll see if I can deliver, I don’t know. She’s like, ‘You go see if you can hit a clutch shot. You gave me all the girls, let’s see if you can bring a boy!’ Nope, not yet. We’ll see."
8. Kobe once opened up about his love of wholesome family Christmas traditions...
9. He revealed in 2018 that he uses helicopters so frequently as not to miss out on seeing his daughters.Explaining to Alex Rodriguez, Kobe said, "I was sitting in traffic and wound up missing, like, the school play because I was sitting in traffic. These things just kept mounting," he said at the time. "And I had to figure out a way where I could still train and focus on the craft, but still not compromise family time. That’s when I looked into helicopters to be able to get down and back in 15 minutes, and that’s how it started."
10. He wanted his kids to strive for excellence.
Bryant was a proud 'Girl Dad.'
Thank you @T_Dwyer for sending me this.. 🙏🏽#girldad https://t.co/o0sNLZ0yyC— Elle Duncan (@Elle Duncan)1580265295.0
Duncan decided to share her encounter with Bryant.
via: TwitterDuncan began her anecdote by talking about the time she met Bryant backstage at an ESPN event.
She admits she wanted "a picture "for the gram."'
via: GettyHowever, when they first met, Bryant noticed something more important he had to discuss.
Bryant noticed her "rather large eight-month pregnant belly."
via: Getty ImagesHe began to pepper Duncan with endless questions about her pregnancy, including if she knew what the sex of the baby was.
She told him that she was having a girl.
via: TwitterBryant was overjoyed, excitedly offered a high-five and said: "girls are the best."
She asked for his advice on raising girls.
via: InstagramHis daughter Bianka was a year and a half at the time. He said, "Just be grateful that you’ve been given that gift because girls are amazing."
Duncan asked him if he wanted any more children.
via: InstagramHe responded that his wife Vanessa wanted to try for a boy, but said "jokingly" that she was concerned it would be another girl.
She went on to ask what he thought of raising 4 girls.
via: Instagram"Without hesitation," he said he'd “have five more girls if I could. I’m a girl dad." Their youngest Capri was born in 2019.
Duncan began to choke up.
via: InstagramShe said that Bryant began to talk about his daughters' athletic abilities. It's what he said about Gianna that made Duncan's voice shake.
“She’s a monster, a beast, she’s better than I was at her age on the basketball court," Duncan said Bryant told her.
"I would have 5 more girls if I could. I'm a girl dad." @elleduncanESPN's story about how much Kobe loved his daug… https://t.co/VbHnFrsBtT— SportsCenter (@SportsCenter)1580187967.0