Why Did Kobe Bryant Have Such a Disturbing Relationship with His Parents?

Published 04/30/2020, 6:30 PM EDT


Kobe Bryant had an illustrious career with the Los Angeles Lakers in the 20 years that he played for them. Bryant amassed five NBA titles and one league MVP award while gearing up in purple and gold. 

ADVERTISEMENT

Article continues below this ad

He is often lauded for his success both on the court and off of it. Kobe sacrificed a lot for his family and his career. He would often end up sleepless trying to balance both. The sacrifices he made reaped him the benefits he enjoyed in his life, which tragically ended too soon.

The mamba had a smooth sailing life with his family. He had four daughters, including the deceased Gianna Bryant. Vanessa Bryant, his wife is a model and has appeared in a few music videos as well. The pair met at a music video shoot and instantly hit it off.

ADVERTISEMENT

Article continues below this ad

They got married in 2001 when Vanessa was just 18. However, Kobe never enjoyed the love from his parents when he announced that he was tying the knot with Vanessa. Joe Bryant, Kobe’s father also played in the NBA. When he and his wife Pamela Bryant heard the news that their son was marrying Vanessa, it was a no-go from them.

The reason behind the love-hate relationship between Kobe Bryant and his parents 

The main reason for their objection was because they didn’t want their daughter-in-law to be from a different race. It’s true. Vanessa was a Latina, while Kobe and his family were African-Americans. His parents opposed the marriage, but Kobe listened to his heart, like he always did. He married Vanessa without his parents present at the wedding. Such was the immense love he had for his beloved wife. 

ADVERTISEMENT

Article continues below this ad

Though, his father was objecting to their marriage, Kobe made it clear on how his wife and family comes first to him. This caused a rift in their relationship and they never often met each other. His father didn’t even come to see his first granddaughter when she was born. 

In 2013, his parents planned to sell off a few memorabilia belonging to him to an auction house. Kobe Bryant filed a lawsuit against his parents and the auction house as well. He eventually won the case and also received a public apology from his parents. A part of it read, “We apologize for any misunderstanding and unintended pain we have caused our son and appreciate the financial support he has provided over the years.”

In a 2016 interview with ESPN, Kobe mentioned the fallout between his parents and said, “Our relationship is s–t,”. I say, ‘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–t?”

ADVERTISEMENT

Article continues below this ad

His words mirrored his damaged relationship with his dear parents. However, their relationship reconciled after he retired and they found time to mend their differences, until Kobe passed away without any warning. His parents were seen attending Kobe’s memorial service to bid their son goodbye, for one last time. Rest in Peace, Mamba.

SHARE THIS ARTICLE :

Arjun Athreya

1826 articles

Arjun Athreya is a senior writer at Essentially Sports and has been contributing since early 2020. Having developed an avid interest in sports at an early age, he pursued a Journalism degree and graduated from Madras Christian College. Arjun manages the Golf division and its content, and primarily covers news pertaining to the NBA as well.

ADVERTISEMENT

ADVERTISEMENT