Kobe Bryant's Reason for Taking Helicopters Will Break Your Heart

Kobe Bryant explained in a 2018 interview the reason he takes helicopters to the Los Angeles area from Orange County. Read his heartbreaking quotes on the subject, here.

By Jess Cohen Jan 27, 2020 5:28 PMTags

Kobe Bryant always put family time first.

The world is in mourning over the death of the 41-year-old Los Angeles Lakers legend. The basketball star, who shared four kids with wife Vanessa Bryant, passed away on Sunday morning in a helicopter crash in Calabasas, Calif. Kobe's 13-year-old daughter Gianna "Gigi" Bryant, along with seven other people, were also killed in the devastating crash. At the time of the crash, the helicopter was believed to heading to Kobe's Mamba Academy in Thousand Oaks, Calif. Kobe was the coach of his daughter's basketball team, and fellow passengers on the helicopter included Gigi's teammates and Kobe's assistant coach.

As news of the crash emerged over the weekend, tributes for the beloved star began to appear online. In the tributes, it's often mentioned how much Kobe loved his family and how much he enjoyed talking about them. In a 2018 interview with Alex Rodriguez for The Corp With A-Rod and Big Cat, Kobe explained how much family time meant to him, and why he started taking helicopters from his home in Orange County up to the Los Angeles area for basketball.

Kobe Bryant's Family Album

"Traffic started getting really, really bad," Kobe said during the interview. "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," Kobe explained. "So that's when I looked into helicopters and being able to get down and back in 15 minutes."

Kobe went on to share his former schedule before his retirement. As Lakers fans will know, the team plays in the Staples Center in LA, so Kobe would take a helicopter to the area in order to train.

As he explained, "Weights early in the morning, kids to school, fly down, practice like crazy, do my extra work, media, everything I needed to do, fly back, get back in carpool line, pick the kids up."


While Kobe's wife Vanessa offered to pick the kids up, Kobe told her he wanted to do it because being on the road for basketball often kept him away from home.

Kobe added, "Every chance I get to see them and spend time with them, even if it's 20 minutes in the car, I want that."

In addition to Gigi, Kobe and Vanessa are parents to Natalia Bryant, 17, Bianka Bryant, 3, and Capri Bryant, 7 months.

Our thoughts are with the families affected by this tragedy during this heartbreaking time.