Following the tragic news of Bryant’s death at age 41 in a helicopter break — which also killed his 13-12 months-feeble daughter Gianna and 7 diverse passengers on Sunday — a friend end to the household tells PEOPLE that Bryant changed into once eternally happy with his four daughters.
Bryant is survived by his significant other Vanessa, 37, and their three daughters Natalia, 17, Bianka, 3, and 7-month-feeble Capri, whom the couple welcomed in June.
“One among the most effective issues he changed into once having a stare forward to after retiring from the NBA [in 2016] changed into once getting to exhaust beyond regular time with his household,” the friend says. “He changed into once a extraordinarily palms-on dad and, care for any diverse father, saw such brilliant futures for all of his daughters.”
The source adds, “He changed into once so proud to seem them choose after no longer only him and Vanessa, but additionally develop into their acquire. He had a various bond with every of his daughters.”
Kobe Bryant with Gianna, November 2019
Within the tribute, Jeter, 45 — who has two daughters of his acquire — acknowledged he bonded with Bryant over fatherhood.
“All I ever desired to know about Kobe Bryant changed into once this: that all the diagram through our friendship, the most meaningful conversations we had — they had been repeatedly about household,” Jeter began his essay.
“Tragedies care for this acquire a cruel manner of reminding us of what’s most principal in existence: spending time with our loved ones, and being there for them it is miles no longer most principal what,” Jeter wrote. “Which makes nowadays’s events in actuality feel especially cruel — because no one wanted less reminding than Kobe.”
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Kobe Bryant and household, December 2017
“A precious lesson that I will allege them is what it manner to pursue excellence and the commitment level that incorporates that,” Bryant acknowledged on the time. “On the identical time, making issues enjoyable and no longer easy, and discovering out recent issues. But they’re having a blast. They’ve gotten extraordinarily, extraordinarily valid over the course of the final 12 months, and are continuing to work and improve, man. It’s been enjoyable.”
After his death, an interview he gave in 2018 resurfaced on-line, displaying Bryant explaining why he most standard to roam the exhaust of a non-public helicopter in relate to acquire beyond regular time to exhaust with his daughters.
“Traffic began getting in actuality, in actuality notorious, and I changed into once sitting in traffic and I hurt up missing care for a college play because I changed into once sitting in traffic,” Bryant acknowledged on the time. “I had to resolve out a manner where I’d also soundless allege and heart of attention on the craft but soundless no longer compromise household time.”
The proud guardian persisted, “So that’s once I looked into helicopters, so as to salvage down and reduction in 15 minutes and that’s when it began.”