Ahead of the NBA legend's public memorial at the Staples Center, friends and fans shared emotional memories about one of the greatest athletes of our time. But perhaps the stories that have stood out the most are those about his love for his girls Natalia, 17, Bianka, 3, Capri, 7 months, and 13-year-old Gianna (or Gigi), who died alongside her dad in that fatal helicopter crash. After all, parenthood was his favorite role, a fact he proved during his one and only meeting with SportsCenter anchor Elle Duncan.
Backstage at an ESPN event in NYC, "I saw him and I thought, ‘Oh my gosh, that's Kobe. I've gotta get a picture for the ‘gram,'" she recalled during a heartwarming tribute. "I didn't get it for a few minutes because, as I approached him, he immediately commented on my rather large, eight month pregnant belly."