ESPN’s Ellen Duncan emotionally speaking on an interview where she sat with Kobe went viral. During the conversation he called himself a #girldad lovingly gushing over his daughters and how he loved being a father of girls. He praised their athletic talents and spoke of Gianna’s gift for basketball, even saying she was better than him at that age. It brought tears to everyone’s eyes and sparked the #girldad movement.
Kobe was known for being a hands-on father involving himself of every aspect of their lives. He coached Gianna’s team at the Mamba Sports Center he built to train and advise other young athletes. His plan was to guide not just his daughters but other kids through teachable lessons via sports.
The day of their passing I called my own #girldad. He, like everyone, was shaken. We talked about the impact of Kobe’s death. Our conversation was reminiscent of many conversations and the advice I received:
- Spend at least one solid year alone. Learn who and how you are. Find peace within yourself. Make you happy. Learn how to live on your own. Make yourself a whole person. Do not expect a relationship to complete you.
- Do not let negativity enter your home. You and your house will always have someone or something trying to bring it down. Do not invite that energy in. It will most certainly become toxic and disruptive.
- Communicate. Ask for help when you need it. Don’t wait until the last minute. When difficulties arise with your spouse, talk to each other not at each other. Make it known and don’t let it fester. Watch your tone. Sometimes it’s how you say it.
The close relationship with my father made me stronger, more intuitive, perceptive, and discerning. The bond of a father and daughter is unbreakable.
Kobe’s impact on the game and in business will surely stand the test of time. Although they lost their father, the Bryant girls will have his presence with them forever. The legacy of Kobe’s Mamba Mentality will surely continue to guide them and teach them the only way a #girldad can.