Just two days after the tragic death of the NBA icon and Laker legend Kobe Bryant and his daughter Gianna “Gigi,” People magazine is reporting that a source says the 41-year-old and his wife, Vanessa, made a pact to never fly in a helicopter together.
According to the same source, Bryant would only travel with pilot Ara Zobayan, who was also one of the nine victims killed in the crash.
Bryant has previously shared in interviews that he started using helicopter, because of day-to-day traffic interfering with balancing his family time and career with the Los Angeles Lakers.
“Traffic started getting really, really bad,” said Bryant in an interview with Alex Rodriguez. “And I was sitting in traffic and I would un missing like a school play, because I was sitting in traffic. I had to figure out a way where I could train and focus on the craft but still not compromise family time.”
“So that’s when I looked into helicopters, to be able to get down and back in 15 minutes and that’s when it started,” he said before later continuing. “You have like road trips and times where you don’t see your kids. So every chance I get to see them, to spend time with them, even if it’s 20 minutes in the car.”
Rodriguez paid his respects to the late Bryant, calling him “naturally gifted” with “a passion for basketball like no one else I’ve ever seen.”
(Photo: John Shearer/Getty Images)