KOBE Bryant explained in a resurfaced interview that he started travelling by helicopter because LA traffic was making him miss family time.
As he kept his busy daily routine, traffic in LA worsened — so he began to look at alternative transportation.
The former Los Angeles Lakers player, 41, who died in a helicopter crash on Sunday, didn't want to sacrifice any time with his kids.
“I take the kids to school every morning. That’s what I do. I take them to school.
"And after I take them to school, I go to practice. I drive to practice. And this is when — before people started moving down south so I could get down to LA in 30, 40 minutes,” he said in the 2018 interview with Alex Rodriguez and Big Cat.
“I practice, I’d stay late after practice, get my shots up, drive back, and I could get back in time to pick up the kids from school. You know, after school activities, all that fun stuff, even on weekends,” Bryant added.
As traffic worsened, however, Bryant said he began to look into a helicopter as alternate transportation because it was faster.
“Traffic started getting really, really bad. And I was sitting in traffic and I wound up missing the school play because I was in traffic. And these things just kept mounting. And I had to figure out a way where I could still train and focus on the craft but still not compromise family time,” Bryant said.
“That’s when I looked into helicopters to be able to get down and back in 15 minutes. And that’s when it started. So my routine was always the same,” he explained.
“Weights early in the morning, kids to school, fly down, practice like crazy, do my extra work, media, everything I needed to do. Fly back, get back in carpool line, pick the kids up.”
Bryant said his wife, Vanessa Laine Bryant, 37, offered to pick their daughters up from school, but he wanted to spend as much time with his girls as he could.
“My wife was like, ‘Listen. I can pick ‘em up.’ I’m like ‘No, no no.’ I wanna do that. Because like, you know, you have roadtrips and times where you’re not — you don’t even see your kids, man."
He said: “Every time I get a chance to see em and spend time with them, even if it’s 20 minutes in the car, I want that. That would be my routine all the time.”
Even if he had a game that night and wanted to nap, Bryant explained his daughters always came first, and the nap would follow.
“If I was tired, I’d take a nap. I’d pick em up from school, go home, I’d lay down for about an hour or so and then I’d go to the game, but that wasn’t a set routine for me.”
He also told ESPN: "Sometimes, there's just things you cannot miss.
"Like my daughter's soccer game. Because what if I miss her first goal?"
Bryant's interview resurfaced after he and his 13-year-old daughter, Gianna, died Sunday in a helicopter crash.
A total of nine people died in the accident Sunday, including Orange Coast College basketball coach John Altobelli, his wife Keri, and their teenage daughter Alyssa.
Alyssa and Gianna were teammates on the basketball team at the Mamba Academy.
Pilot Ara Zobayan, Christina Mauser, an Orange County girls' basketball coach, Sarah Chester and her daughter Payton were also among the victims that died in the tragic crash Sunday.
Investigations are ongoing into why the helicopter, flying low in the foggy conditions, was allowed in the air. At the time of the 9:47 a.m. accident, most other helicopters were not allowed to fly because of the foggy conditions.
The helicopter was told it was flying too low in the weather before it crashed, and traffic controllers had attempted to guide the craft, which had circled Burbank Airport for 15 minutes as the it was waiting to land.
Moments before crashing, however, the pilot lost contact with air traffic controllers.
The Los Angeles County Sheriff's Office and the National Safety and Transportation are investigating the incident.
Bryant is survived by his wife and three daughters, 17-year-old Natalia, 3-year-old Bianka, and 7-month-old Capri.
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