As the world reels from the tragic and untimely deaths of Kobe Bryant, his daughter Gianna Bryant and the seven other people who were traveling with them when their helicopter crashed, more details have emerged about what happened.
Today, an old interview resurfaced that provided more insight into why the NBA legend started relying on helicopters as a primary means of travel.
In a 2018 interview with Alex Rodriguez for The Corp With A-Rod and Big Cat, Bryant explained that he started taking helicopters to reduce his commute from his home in Orange County to the Staples Center in Los Angeles where he practiced. “I’d wake up at four in the morning and I’d lift weights at five in the morning,” he explained. “I’d get home at about 6:30 in time to wake the kids up for school. I take them to school every morning and then drive to practice. This was before people started moving down south, so I could get to LA in thirty to forty minutes. I would stay late at practice and get back in time to pick the kids up from school.”
Kobe says his commute became longer as the traffic worsened. “I was sitting in traffic and I wound up missing like a school play because I was sitting in traffic. This thing just kept mounting, and I had to figure out a way that I could still train and focus on the craft but still not compromise family time. So that’s when I looked into helicopters and being able to get down and back in 15 minutes.”
Kobe goes on to explain that traveling via helicopter allowed him to meet his obligations for work while getting home in time to pick his daughters up from school. Even when his wife Vanessa offered to take over pick up duty, Kobe insisted. “You have road trips and times where you don’t see your kids. So every chance I get to see them and spend time with them, even if it’s 20 minutes in the car, I want that.”
News broke on Sunday, Jan. 26 of Kobe and Gianna’s deaths. Since then, TMZ learned that the aircraft encountered intense fog during the flight and that the pilot might have misjudged the terrain causing the crash. Kobe Bryant leaves behind his wife of 19 years, Vanessa Bryant, and their daughters: 17-year-old Natalia, 3-year-old Bianka and 7-month-old Capri. Before their tragic deaths, Kobe coached Gianna’s basketball team, and the two would often practice together. The basketball superstar told Jimmy Kimmel that he saw his daughter as a superstar athlete in the making.
“The best thing that happens is when we go out and fans would come up to me and she’ll be standing next to me, and they’ll be like, ‘You’ve gotta have a boy, you and V gotta have a boy. You gotta have somebody to carry on your tradition, the legacy.”
“She’s like, ‘I got this’,” Bryant said. “I’m like, ‘that’s right’. Yes, you do, you got this.”