“When Bianka was born, and Capri [the youngest of Bryant’s four daughters] was born, it was an odd mix of pure happiness and fulfillment, but at the same time, a little sadness because I knew that my two older girls were going to age,” Kobe Bryant once revealed in an interview. If there was one thing Kobe loved more than basketball, it was parenting his children. The tragic loss of both Kobe and his daughter Gianna, also known as “Gigi,” puts things in perspective for many. Kobe and Gigi shared tons of sweet moments together, and here are some of the best.
Caught On The Big Screen
In what would be one of the last public sightings of Kobe and Gianna Bryant together, the two spent time at a Lakers game on December 29, 2019. During a matchup between Los Angeles and the Dallas Mavericks, Kobe and Gianna shared a laugh courtside.
Since the two shared a love for basketball, going to games wasn’t anything new for them. They would not only watch together but would also spend time analyzing the plays performed on the court.
Enjoying Disney Magic
In September of 2019, Kobe took some of the family for an outing at Downtown Disney in California. There was an event going on called Pop-Up Disney!, which was a celebration of Mickey Mouse.
With tons of exciting activities and things to see, Kobe had to take pictures with the family. He posted one with his wife, Vanessa, and this one as well with little Gigi. Vanessa and the rest of the family will never forget these priceless smiles.
Leave It Up To Gigi
Kobe and Jimmy Kimmel were great friends. Kimmel would frequently feature Kobe as his guest, and one night, the late star shared a story about Gigi’s fierce personality that showed how much she was his daughter.
Kobe went on about how people would come up to him and always say he needed to have a boy to carry out the basketball legacy, but one time, Gigi was there to listen. “Gianna would quickly chime in, ‘I got this. No boy, for that, I got this,'” he told Kimmel.
Kisses For The Finals Victory
The 2009 NBA season was a joy for Lakers fans all over the world. It was the first time the Lakers won a championship since having Shaquille O’Neal on the team, and Kobe’s first ring without the big guy.
After defeating future teammate Dwight Howard in the final game of the Finals 99-86, Kobe scooped up Gigi for this magical embrace. Elated with joy, this picture captured one of the purest moments these two have together!
Press Conference Smooch
Kobe had a reputation for keeping a poker face in the playoffs, even after a victory. You rarely got to see him smile during that time of the year, especially during the Finals.
After a game five victory against franchise rivals, the Boston Celtics, Kobe had his two daughters with him for the press conference. With Gigi in one arm, he plants a big kiss right on the side of her face with a grin.
Kobe would always bite the top of his jersey during games. It became one of his signature traits that many other players picked up, including his daughter, Gigi. Whenever Kobe did it, he had a reason.
“It’s disgusting, but my father taught me when your mouth gets dry, just suck the sweat out of your own jersey,” Kobe said. It was something Gigi picked up on and it seemed to help her during games when she would become exhausted on the court.
Celebrations With Gigi
After a long season and finally bringing the championship back to Los Angeles after so many years, the Lakers Parade was a zoo. As the Lakers and their family members drove down the streets of Los Angeles, we got a glimpse of Kobe and Gigi.
Here, Kobe smiles from ear to ear as he signals to the crowd with one hand and has his young daughter in the other. She didn’t know it yet, but she would be in that same position the following year.
Time For The Kids’ Choice Awards
In 2016, Kobe and the family had an outing to UCLA’s Pauley Pavilion to enjoy the Nickelodeon Kids’ Choice Sports Awards. Adults don’t often have the same time or interests they once had, and that includes cartoons.
Kobe put his busy schedule on hold and took his loved ones to enjoy this event, something Gigi probably enjoyed the most. You didn’t see Kobe in the spotlight like this often, but after retiring, things changed.
Sneaking In A Low-Five
Sitting courtside per usual, the Bryant family gets to enjoy Kobe in one of the final games of his career. The Lakers played the Indiana Pacers this night in 2015, and it was right around the time he announced his retirement.
During the game, Bryant approached Gigi and the others and tried to sneak in a low-five. Everyone watching noticed it and lit up with smiles. What a spectacular father-daughter moment between a superstar and his child.
Coaching His Daughter
After retiring, Kobe didn’t want anything to do with the NBA anymore. He tried to focus on regular life afterward, but Gigi shared the same love he had for the game.
This brought him back to the court, but as a coach for her team. Many believed Gigi was on her way to becoming the greatest WNBA player ever, with her dad coaching her every step of the way. Now, we can only imagine the possibilities.
The Jersey Retirement Day
Fans know that Kobe donned two jerseys during his 20-year career with the Lakers. No one knew whether they would retire number eight or number 24, so Los Angeles went ahead and hung both of them up.
On the day of the retirement, Kobe brought his family to celebrate with him, and they were all smiles. Kobe held his latest child as Gigi got to hold Kobe’s first number, number eight. It was a historic night for the Lakers legend.
A Viral Moment Between Father And Daughter
One night, Kobe took Gianna to watch the Atlanta Hawks play the Brooklyn Nets. Hawks player Trae Young was one of Gianna’s favorites, and Nets player Kyrie Irving was like a little brother to Kobe.
While spectating, Kobe went into instructional mode, unaware of the cameras on him and his Gigi. As he teaches her, Gianna starts to mouth what Kobe says word for word. She knew what her dad was getting at before he even finished it.
Always A Teachable Moment
No matter where they were, Kobe always had a lesson to share with his daughter. Whether it was long-winded or a simple tidbit, he was going to share his knowledge with her.
Here, we see them at the Philips 66 National Swimming Championships at the Woollett Aquatics Center in 2018. Looking at both of their faces, you can see how she’s listening, and he’s teaching. This was the perfect event for him to tell her about what it takes to be a champion.
Family Time For Big Moments
Kobe idolized Michael Jordan, and it was no secret. He got most of his moves from Jordan and added his own flair to them. On the day he passed His Airness on the list of all-time leading scorers, you know the family showed up.
It was in 2014 in a game against the Oklahoma City Thunder when it happened, so Gigi was on the younger side. Still, she had the brightest smile on her face for the special moment.
Enjoying A Heated Soccer Match
In 2014, Kobe took the family to enjoy a women’s soccer match in San Diego, California, at Qualcomm Stadium. It was the USA team facing off against China, and Gigi had a phenomenal view.
Parents love moments like this. Being able to share quality time like this meant everything to Kobe, someone who tried to maximize as much time spent with the family as he could. These two loved watching sporting events together.
Gigi The Husky
Gigi always knew where she wanted to play college ball. She had her sights set on the University of Connecticut, no matter how much other teams scouted and wanted her.
This is a picture from a game Kobe took Gigi to where she got to meet the team and head coach. Her talent was only getting better with each day, so we have no doubt in our minds that one day she would have become a Husky.
Halloween With The Bryants!
Celebrating Halloween with Kobe and the family was probably a thrill. After retiring and focusing more on his fatherly duties, fans got to see another side of Kobe such as dressing up for holiday!
Here, he poses with his lovely family and has who else but Gigi right next to him. She was a daddy’s girl and loved her father very much. That’s probably why they had similar smiles in many of their photos taken together.
Kobe With Gigi’s Teammates
Coaching Gigi brought Kobe so much happiness. Their times together were the most that fans saw him smile out of the 20 years of following his NBA career. Seeing his daughter succeed on the court meant everything to him.
Gigi made plenty of friends playing basketball. If they were cool with Gigi, then Kobe loved them, too. He pulled out all the tricks to make sure the team had what they needed and more. This is one precious moment of a few them celebrating new shirts.
Someone To Look Up To
Oregon women’s basketball player Sabrina Ionescu is arguably one the best to do it at the collegiate level. She broke some of the toughest records and had Kobe as a mentor during the process.
Kobe let Gigi workout with Sabrina and allowed her to meet some of her teammates as well. Sabrina recalled Gigi being so happy in those moments, as she had the brightest smile on her face. Kobe knew how to bring greatness out in people.
Bringing Kobe To Career Day
Imagine all the firefighters, doctors, and police officers who show up to career day for their children. They’re probably as proud as can be, but then Kobe steps in with Gianna.
Not only did Kobe show up for career day, but came in a full jersey and the gold medal that he won playing in the Olympics. That’s parenting at it’s finest, and you can see from this picture how excited both of them were that day.