Kobe Bryant rose to fame as a basketball star, but his dedication to family may be his most powerful legacy.
Famously a proud “girl dad,” Bryant had four daughters ― Natalia, Gianna aka Gigi, Bianka and Capri ― with his wife, Vanessa. Before he and Gigi died in a helicopter crash in January, the NBA legend opened up about his experience as a father in many interviews and public appearances.
In honor of his birthday, we’ve rounded up 12 quotes about parenthood from Bryant.
On Setting An Example
“You can’t talk your children into working hard. That’s the one thing that drives me crazy ― parents come up to me on the street or when I’m at the sports academy and say, ‘OK, how can I get my kid to work hard? What do I need to tell them? Can you talk to my kid?’ I say, listen, it’s not something that you can talk through. It’s a behavioral thing. You have to get up every day and do the work. Consistently do the work.”
On Having Four Daughters
“Be thankful that you’ve been given that gift because girls are amazing. I would have five more girls if I could. I’m a girl dad.”
On Work-Life Balance
“I want to make sure the days that I’m away from them are days that I absolutely have to be. I’d rather be with them than doing anything else.”
On Gigi’s Basketball Skills
“She’s a monster. She’s a beast. She’s better than I was at her age. She’s got it.”
On Holiday Traditions
“Every year, we go and watch ‘The Nutcracker.’ … We also watch ‘Home Alone,’ ‘Charlie Brown,’ all the Christmas classics. We try to make a gingerbread house, but my wife and the kids do a much, much better job than I do! I’ll put it that way.”
On Gigi’s Approach To Basketball
“What I love about Gigi is her curiosity about the game. She’s very curious. Even in a heated situation in a game where it’s going back and forth, she can detach herself and come to me and ask a very specific question, which is not common.”
On The Bittersweet Side Of Parenting
“When Bianka was born and Capri 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. Of course, you know they’re going to age, but when Bianka and Coco are 6 and 4, Natalia is going to be 20, Gianna is going to be 17, and I’m like, ahh. It just puts things in perspective. Time has no mercy. I wish I had a TiVo button, just pause it for a second.”