Kobe Bryant Was Making Huge Plans For Gianna’s Future Days Before Their Tragic Deaths
Kobe Bryant was making big plans for his second-oldest daughter, Gianna, right before their tragic deaths. Days before Kobe and Gianna, also known as Gigi, passed away in a helicopter accident, the Los Angeles Lakers star filed a trademark for her nickname on the basketball court. The filing was a clear move that Kobe had major plans for Gianna’s future, which likely would have included an appearance in the WNBA.
Kobe Bryant files a trademark for Mambacita
On December 30, Kobe filed paperwork to trademark the name “Mambacita.” The nickname is a reference to Kobe’s moniker in the NBA, Black Mamba. It is also a testament to Gianna’s talent on the court.
According to TMZ, the trademark documents outlined a plan to use the name on a variety of sportswear, including hoodies, shorts, sweatshirts, shirts, hats, sweatpants, and jerseys.
Kobe Bryant first started calling his daughter Mambacita on social media. In a post from November, for example, Kobe shared a clip of Gianna making a fade-away against one of her teammates, Alyssa Altobelli, during a scrimmage.
In the caption, Kobe praised Gianna for making a move that looked similar to his trademark fade-away. He also complimented Alyssa for playing great defense. Alyssa and her parents, Keri and John Altobelli, also passed away in the helicopter crash.
Inside Kobe’s return to basketball
Kobe retired from the Los Angeles Laker back in 2016 and penned an emotional letter, titled “Dear Basketball,” following his retirement.
With Kobe revealing that he gave the game of basketball his all, few thought he would ever return to the court. But that all changed when Gianna showed a growing interest in the sport.
Although coaching was not in Kobe Bryant’s original retirement plan, he gladly accepted the role to teach his daughter everything he learned from the game. The father and daughter developed a tight bond over their love for basketball and were often spotted at NBA games analyzing the action.
Kobe and Gianna were on their way to a basketball game when their helicopter crashed into a hillside near Calabasas, California. There were a total of 9 people on board the craft when it down, none of whom survived.
Kobe Bryant opens up about Gigi’s future
A few years ago, Kobe discussed Gianna’s future in basketball during an appearance on Jimmy Kimmel Live. The former NBA star revealed that his daughter had dreams of playing for the University of Connecticut and felt confident about continuing his basketball legacy.
He also hilariously revealed Gianna’s response whenever people told him that he needs to have a son.
”The best thing that happens is when we go out and fans come up to me, and she’ll be standing next to me and they’ll be like: ‘You’ve got to have a boy. You and [wife Vanessa] have got to have a boy, someone to carry on the tradition, the legacy.’ And she’s like, ‘Oh, I got this,’” he shared.
There is no doubt that Kobe had major plans for Gianna’s future. The ultimate plan would have been seeing his daughter drafted into the WNBA and later profit off her nickname.
Kobe Bryant was a huge supporter of the WNBA over the years and was not shy about expressing his love for the game. Not only did he attend games and watch film, but he also coached Gianna’s team and ran basketball camps in the area.
It is such a shame that both of their lives were cut short in the helicopter crash, along with the other seven victims of the crash.
The world mourns Kobe and Gigi’s tragic death
In the hours and days following the tragic helicopter accident, fans from around the world mourned the loss of Kobe and his daughter.
A slew of current NBA players have paid tribute to Kobe Bryant and Gianna on social media, as well as NBA Commissioner Adam Silver, who said that Kobe “will be remembered most for inspiring people around the world to pick up a basketball and compete to the very best of their ability.”
Former WNBA star and University of Connecticut center Rebecca Lobo also expressed her condolences for losing Kobe and his daughter.
“No @NBA player supported the @WNBA or women’s college basketball more than Kobe,” Lobo shared. “He attended games, watched on TV, coached the next generation. We pray for his family.”
Kobe and Gianna will continue to receive tributes on social media as fans around the world deal with the shock of their loss. It is still unclear why the helicopter crashed, but weather and possible mechanical issues are believed to be at fault.
Kobe Bryant was 41 years old and Gianna was 13 years old at the time of their deaths. Kobe retired from the NBA in 2016 but remained active in many current players’ lives.