Thursday, January 27, 2022

Inside Kobe Bryant’s Volatile Relationship with His Parents

kobe bryant

*Kobe Bryant, 41, and his 13-year-old daughter Gianna were among those who tragically died in a helicopter accident in Calabasas, California, on January 26. 

Now inquiring minds want to know how soon before Bryant’s wife, Vanessa, and his parents, Pamela Cox Bryant and Joe Bryant, start sparring over his estate? 

As noted by, Kobe and his parents were close growing up and through most of his career, but they had a huge falling out in 2013 after the family tried selling his memorabilia. 

Joe and Pam, who were not invited to Kobe and Vanessa’s wedding in 2001, were also not invited to Kobe’s final NBA game before he retired.

Kobe had this to say about his family in a 2013 ESPN interview, “Our relationship is s***. I say [to them], ‘I’m going to buy you a very nice home,’ and the response is ‘That’s not good enough’? Then you’re selling my s***?”

Kobe also previously noted that he decided to cut his two sisters off financially, “They’re very smart, college-educated [women]. I’m really proud of them. They were able to get their own jobs, get their own lives, take care of themselves. Now they have a better sense of self, of who they are as people, instead of being resentful because they were relying on me.”


Kobe Bryant & parents - gettyimages-71552756-612x612
Kobe Bryant and his parents

Following his retirement in 2016, Kobe penned a letter published in The Players’ Tribune, warning his 17-year-old self to “invest” in family and friends, but do not “give” to them.

He wrote, “Purely giving material things to your siblings and friends may appear to be the right decision. You love them, and they were always there for you growing up, so it’s only right that they should share in your success and all that comes with it. So you buy them a car, a big house, pay all of their bills. You want them to live a beautiful, comfortable life, right?”

Kobe continued, “The most important advice I can give to you is to make sure your parents remain PARENTS and not managers. Before you sign that first contract, figure out the right budget for your parents — one that will allow them to live beautifully while also growing your business and setting people up for long-term success. That way, your children’s kids and their kids will be able to invest in their own futures when the time comes.” 

Bryant’s parents did not attend his retirement ceremony with the Los Angeles Lakers in December 2017. Kobe attended with his wife and daughters Natalia, Gianna and Bianka, and he did not mention his parents during his speech.  

“I want to say, thank you so much for tonight,” Kobe said. “But it’s not about my jerseys that are hanging up there for me. It’s about the jerseys that were hanging up there before. Without them, I couldn’t be there today. They inspired me to play the game at a high level: Magic [Johnson], Cap [Kareem Abdul-Jabbar], Shaq pushing me every day. [Elgin] Baylor. [Walt] Chamberlain. [Gail] Goodrich. [Jerry] West. [James] Worthy. It goes on and on.”

It’s unknown if Kobe and his parents were able to reconcile prior to his death. 


Ny MaGee
Ny MaGee is an entertainment reporter with over 15 years of experience working in the film industry in areas including production and post-production, marketing, distribution, and acquisitions. She has worked for legendary film producer Roger Corman, Quentin Tarantino's production team at Miramax, the late Larry Flynt, MTV/ VH1, Hallmark Channel, Paramount, Jim Henson Co., Parade Magazine, and various LA-based companies representing above-the-line talent.



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