Kobe Bryant: What Dad Joe Bryant Said Before Lakers Legend's Celebration of Life

Prior to the celebration of life memorial for Kobe Bryant and Gianna Bryant, the late NBA icon's father, Joe "Jellybean" Bryant, spoke out about his son's impressive legacy on the Scoop B Radio podcast, per Heavy. Joe, who also played in the NBA from 1975 to 1983, described how Kobe's status as a second-generation basketball player helped him hone in on his skills.

"Well I figure it is helpful in the sense that our children get a chance to meet or go places where the normal child doesn't get a chance to go to, you know?" Joe explained, when asked to describe raising a child within the basketball community. "Meaning that after a game, when you're 10, 11, or 12 years old you can go in the locker room and talk to Magic or talk to Kareem, or talk to George Gervin or whatever the case may be, you get a chance to get on the court and shoot around with them where a lot of kids don't get that opportunity so, and then also they understand the ups and downs and the challenges that their parents went through, that their father went through it in the sport."

"As parents, we try to give our kids advice just to stay focused, work hard and those types of things that you been through…So that's the advantage," he added.

Joe and Kobe's mother, Pam Bryant, were both in attendance at the celebration of life memorial for Kobe and Gianna, which was held on Monday at the Staples Center in Los Angeles. According to Entertainment Tonight, Joe and Pam sat in the same row as Vanessa Bryant, who sat next to her mother, Sofia, and her eldest daughter with Kobe, Natalia.

While Joe did not deliver any remarks at the ceremony, Vanessa did, which prompted a standing ovation from the crowd. During her speech, Vanessa paid tribute to Kobe and Gianna by recounting numerous, lovely moments and anecdotes featuring her two loved ones, who both passed away in a helicopter crash on Jan. 26 along with seven others.


"God knew they couldn't be on this earth without each other. He had to bring them home to him together," Vanessa said towards the end of her speech. "Babe, you take care of our Gigi. And I got Nati, Bibi and Coco. We're still the best team. We love and miss you, Boo Boo and Gigi. May you both rest in peace and have fun in heaven until we meet again one day. We love you both and miss you. Forever and always. Mommy."

Photo Credit: Andrew D. Bernstein/NBAE via Getty Images