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Kobe Bryant talked family and elevating female athletes in last interview with LA Times columnist

The LA Times released audio from Kobe Bryant's final interview with columnist Arash Markazi, where the retired NBA star discussed fatherhood and spending time with his children. CNN's Coy Wire has more.

Posted: Feb 9, 2020 10:39 AM


In his last interview with a Los Angeles Times sports columnist, Kobe Bryant, of course, talked about basketball and the LA Lakers.

But he also spoke about being a family man and how he wanted to elevate youth and women's sports, according to audio of the interview released by the LA Times Saturday.

When asked why he didn't attend many Lakers home games, Bryant said he'd rather spend time at home.

"I have gone through 20 years of the majority of my career with my kids Natalia and Gianna without being able to have that consistently," Bryant said.

"So for me to make a trip up to the Staples Center, that means I'm missing the opportunity to spend another night with my kids, and I know how fast it goes. Natalia is 16 and Gianna is 13. So that time came and went and so I want to make sure that the days I'm away from them, are days that I absolutely have to," he said. "I'd rather just be hanging with them."

The interview is from October, just a few months before Bryant, his 13-year-old daughter Gianna and 7 others were killed in a helicopter crash. Columnist Arash Markazi decided to drive two hours to meet Bryant for a 17-minute interview.

"It was one of the best decisions I've ever made in my career," Markazi wrote.

He loved Gianna's curiosity

Markazi asked Bryant about his relationship with Gianna, who went by Gigi, and coaching her youth basketball team.

"It's a trip to see her move and the expressions that she makes," Bryant said. "It's a trip, you know, the genetics. Genetics is a real thing, man."

He continued: "What I love about Gigi is her curiosity about the game ... Even in a very heated situation in a game where it's very competitive and back and forth, she can detach herself and come over and ask a very specific questions, which is not common."

"All of our girls can do that," Bryant said, "but the part that I think is most exciting is that it's her curiosity and her ability to think critically in tight situations, (that's) pretty damn cool."

Bryant was asked about imagining his daughter moving away to play ball in college, and like many fathers he admitted, "you never want to see your kids leave home, but eventually they have to."

He wanted to support girls and women in sports

Bryant also shared his thoughts about elevating female athletes, saying that he'd always been a "big supporter of the women's game." But having daughters who play sports -- his oldest, Natalia, plays volleyball -- was a big part of his desire to help push women's sports forward.

"Just trying to enhance the women's game, not just in basketball but in volleyball and other sports, is extremely important. Anything I can do to help, I'm gonna do."

He pointed to coaching his team at the Mamba Sports Academy, and telling the players and coaches that it was a group effort to win. Similarly, "this is a joint effort to raise the women's game," he said.

Markazi also asked Bryant about his legacy, and whether he saw the Mamba Academy and youth sports playing a big role in how he was remembered.

"Hopefully," he said, "if we do it the right way, we're known more for what we did after than what we did during."

"I think you can have a lasting impact," he said. "I mean winning championships, that's great. Building families, that's great. But when you can create stories and create moments and events and companies that can provide opportunities ... and inspire kids and create situations where people can be better, I think that has a lasting impact, more so than winning championships does."

Indiana Coronavirus Cases

Data is updated nightly.

Cases: 608519

Reported Deaths: 9693
CountyCasesDeaths
Marion840461335
Lake45349684
Allen32803548
Hamilton29394315
St. Joseph27380381
Elkhart24404345
Vanderburgh19411249
Tippecanoe17970138
Johnson15069295
Porter14783169
Hendricks14401248
Madison10965221
Vigo10726181
Clark10677144
Monroe9383110
Delaware9116134
LaPorte9065163
Howard8236144
Kosciusko806983
Warrick672999
Hancock6697104
Bartholomew6484100
Floyd6428110
Wayne6136162
Grant5991115
Dubois555579
Boone551168
Morgan541295
Henry507864
Marshall503984
Cass483263
Dearborn479845
Noble473059
Jackson425047
Shelby417581
Lawrence391079
Clinton373043
Gibson370359
Harrison348144
DeKalb347164
Montgomery345754
Knox335639
Miami321444
Steuben313745
Whitley307326
Wabash303251
Adams300936
Ripley298445
Putnam296850
Huntington291659
Jasper289034
White273243
Daviess270474
Jefferson263338
Decatur247683
Fayette247148
Greene239862
Posey239328
Wells236051
LaGrange228862
Scott225339
Clay222532
Randolph213548
Jennings198936
Sullivan192333
Spencer191321
Washington186423
Fountain184027
Starke175443
Jay167623
Owen165737
Fulton164030
Orange159534
Carroll158015
Rush155118
Perry154229
Vermillion149134
Franklin148333
Tipton132332
Parke13078
Pike116926
Blackford111022
Pulaski97037
Newton90921
Brown88035
Benton86610
Crawford7999
Martin73713
Warren6817
Switzerland6615
Union6287
Ohio4907
Unassigned0376

Ohio Coronavirus Cases

Data is updated nightly.

Cases: 859841

Reported Deaths: 10680
CountyCasesDeaths
Franklin101171707
Cuyahoga855711125
Hamilton64017448
Montgomery43107418
Summit34836761
Lucas31350625
Butler30973232
Stark25786435
Warren19671140
Lorain19017223
Mahoning17321338
Lake16080154
Clermont15926111
Delaware1438878
Licking13204137
Trumbull12809316
Fairfield1279381
Greene12055137
Medina11591168
Clark10942265
Wood10348158
Allen9897126
Portage9296109
Miami916873
Richland9139118
Marion7459113
Tuscarawas7381182
Columbiana7327124
Pickaway726150
Wayne7034171
Muskingum703141
Erie6152129
Hancock552390
Ross548998
Scioto539164
Geauga508455
Darke470292
Ashtabula453073
Lawrence452654
Union451828
Sandusky436662
Mercer433589
Seneca430166
Huron428741
Auglaize422264
Shelby421222
Jefferson419269
Belmont416840
Washington388740
Athens38009
Putnam374975
Madison355129
Knox352622
Ashland344938
Fulton338443
Defiance330086
Crawford322374
Preble320637
Brown312921
Logan307332
Ottawa293943
Clinton290143
Williams278667
Highland275118
Jackson263845
Guernsey254125
Champaign252028
Fayette236530
Morrow23234
Perry231318
Holmes225474
Henry218749
Hardin213033
Coshocton205622
Van Wert202245
Gallia196726
Wyandot196051
Pike176217
Adams176115
Hocking172024
Carroll155616
Paulding144321
Noble120540
Meigs108624
Monroe100732
Harrison89121
Morgan83130
Vinton70213
Unassigned00
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