The Touching Way Kobe Bryant Described Falling in Love with His Wife Vanessa Before He Died

The most tragic deaths are the ones that come out of nowhere. Which is why the world is not quite over the shocking death of Kobe Bryant. The basketball legend was only 41 and was in great health when he died. So, no one saw his passing coming.

Since the helicopter accident that killed Kobe, his daughter Gianna Bryant, and seven other victims, people have been remembering Kobe’s legacy. But perhaps the greatest thing that the sport’s legend left behind was his loving relationship with his wife Vanessa Bryant and his three remaining daughters.

 Kobe Bryant and Vanessa Bryant
Kobe Bryant and Vanessa Bryant | Frank Micelotta/Getty Images

Kobe Bryant opens up about Vanessa Bryant

Kobe and Vanessa met in 1999 on the set of a music video.

“For those that don’t know, yes, I had budding music career as a rapper,” Bryant said in the 2015 documentary, Kobe Byant’s Muse. “It didn’t last long, but I did make a video. On the video set is where I first met Vanessa.”

“It was a two-day video shoot, and I was always looking for her, like I wanted to know where she was. I would finish a take and go to my trailer but I would wonder where she was the entire time,” he said. “Then I would come out of the trailer and just wanted to talk to her some more, in between takes and stuff like that.”

Kobe eventually asked Vanessa for her number and the two started talking on the phone for hours at a time.

How was Kobe and Vanessa’s relationship different from others?

When Kobe and Vanessa met, Kobe had only been on the Lakers for three years. So, he was still a rookie, trying to make a name for himself. But he still found time for Vanessa because he already knew that she was different from all of his past relationships.

“She was just beautiful,” he said. “We literally did everything together. And I thought I was a big dork because I loved Disneyland. I loved the Disney movies and things like that, but I never really had a chance to go to the park much. She was a big Disney fan, too, and we used to hang out as Disneyland, we used to go to Magic Mountain, she became my best friend.”

At the time, the basketball player was not used to having such an intimate partner.

“For me, it was very different to have somebody that I was so close to, because I had been so used to growing up in isolation, really,” Bryant said. “Moving around from place to place, making new friends all the time, so I never really opened up to anybody because I knew I was just going to inevitably move.”

Vanessa and Kobe’s marriage

The two wasted no time and as soon as Vanessa turned 18, they got engaged. They were married on April 18, 2000, despite Kobe’s parents’ disapproval.

“We decided to get married, I proposed and she said yes. We’re both so young, right?” Bryant said. “We’d wake up and do what kids do. I’d take her to the batting cage, go hit some balls, we’d play miniature golf, go to the movies, go out to eat, it was just a beautiful time, man.”

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The two remained married until Kobe’s death.

How did Kobe Bryant die?

Kobe died on Jan. 26 while on his way to the Mamba Academy in Thousand Oaks, California. The basketball player’s helicopter crashed and burst into flames killing all nine people on board.