Kobe Bryant’s family continues to mourn the deaths of the Lakers legend along with his daughter Gianna “Gigi” Bryant. Amidst numerous articles citing anonymous sources, Kobe’s family released a statement emphasizing “no one has been authorized” to speak for them and criticized some of the reports as causing “unnecessary pain.” Kobe Inc. president Molly Carter released a statement on the matter, per CNN.
To this point, no one has been authorized to speak on behalf of the family regarding any personal details surrounding Sunday’s tragedy, including stories related to the family’s previous air travel decisions. We ask members of the media for respect and responsible judgment during this difficult time. These inaccurate reports only add unnecessary pain to a grieving family.
Kobe and Gigi were one of nine people that died in a tragic helicopter crash on Sunday, January 28th. Kobe is survived by his wife Vanessa Bryant and their three daughters: Natalia, Bianka and Capri.
Vanessa Bryant Noted That “Kobe and Gigi Both Knew That They Were So Deeply Loved” During a Heartfelt Instagram Post
Vanessa also released her first public thoughts on her husband and daughter’s deaths in a heartfelt Instagram message. Vanessa admitted the family is “devastated” over the tragedy but takes “comfort in knowing that Kobe and Gigi both knew that they were so deeply loved.”
My girls and I want to thank the millions of people who’ve shown support and love during this horrific time…We are completely devastated by the sudden loss of my adoring husband, Kobe — the amazing father of our children; and my beautiful, sweet Gianna — a loving, thoughtful, and wonderful daughter, and amazing sister to Natalia, Bianka, and Capri…
There aren’t enough words to describe our pain right now. I take comfort in knowing that Kobe and Gigi both knew that they were so deeply loved. We were so incredibly blessed to have them in our lives. I wish they were here with us forever. They were our beautiful blessings taken from us too soon.
I’m not sure what our lives hold beyond today, and it’s impossible to imagine life without them. But we wake up each day, trying to keep pushing because Kobe, and our baby girl, Gigi, are shining on us to light the way. Our love for them is endless — and that’s to say, immeasurable. I just wish I could hug them, kiss them and bless them. Have them here with us, forever.
Thank you for sharing your joy, your grief and your support with us. We ask that you grant us the respect and privacy we will need to navigate this new reality…
Thank you so much for lifting us up in your prayers, and for loving Kobe, Gigi, Natalia, Bianka, Capri and me. #Mamba #Mambacita #GirlsDad #DaddysGirls #Family ❤️
Kobe Reportedly Reconciled With His Parents
During a 2016 ESPN interview, Kobe admitted his relationship with his parents, Joe and Pamela Bryant, changed after they sold some of his memorabilia. ESPN reported in the same feature article that Kobe had not spoken with his parents since 2013 when there was a legal dispute over memorabilia being auctioned.
“Our relationship is s—,” Kobe noted, per ESPN. “I say [to them], ‘I’m going to buy you a very nice home, and the response is ‘That’s not good enough’? Then you’re selling my —-?”
Things may have changed between Kobe and his parents during the final years of his life. Daily Mail reported that Kobe had reconciled with his family citing one of Kobe’s former coaches Wayne Slappy.
“I remember after one Lakers game Jellybean [Joe Bryant] had been in Japan coaching,” Wayne explained to Daily Mail. “He had just come back. As soon as she saw him, Gigi ran over and grabbed him. You should have seen her eyes when she saw him. It’s those moments when you know love is in that family.”