Lifestyle & Human Interest

Kobe Bryant and Wife Vanessa Reportedly Made 'Deal' To Never Fly in Helicopter Together


If you live in a place that has horrible traffic, at one point or another you’ve probably imagined how great it would be to be able to just fly where you needed to go.

For most of us, that’s a pipe dream, and we’re left to deal with our daily automobile commute realities.

For Kobe Bryant, flying was reality.

Irked by the amount of time wasted sitting in traffic, Bryant opted for a less common method of travel: helicopter.

“I was sitting in traffic and I wound up missing like a school play,” he said in 2018. “I had to figure out a way where I could still train and focus on the craft but still not compromise family time.”

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“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.”

The reason he initially looked into this novel means of transportation was because he wanted to spend more time with his family.

He stressed how important it was to be there for his kids, even for the everyday mundane chats, and wanted to minimize his time spent alone traveling.

“Being a father is the thing I am most proud of in this world; it’s my greatest accomplishment,” he told Maria Shriver’s Sunday Paper last year, as People reported. “I’ve learned so much, but perhaps the most profound thing has been the fierce, unconditional love you have for your children when you become a parent. I’m blessed to have had that experience four times now and there’s nothing more powerful in this world.”

“One of the biggest things he was looking forward to after retiring from the NBA [in 2016] was getting to spend more time with his family,” a family friend explained to People. “He was a very hands-on dad and, like any other father, saw such bright futures for all of his daughters.”

So much of what he did was for his kids. Even the horrible crash that claimed his own life and his daughter’s occurred while they were flying to a basketball game with two of Gianna’s teammates and members of their families.

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Perhaps as a precaution and to ensure that, in the worst case scenario, someone would be left to care for their children, Kobe and Vanessa reportedly made a pact, according to a source who spoke to People.

“He and Vanessa had a deal that they would never fly on a helicopter together,” the source claimed.

While the loss of the nine lives aboard that helicopter is tragic, Vanessa could have made that terrible list, too, if it weren’t for the promise she and her husband had reportedly made.

That source also said Ara Zobayan, the pilot, was the only pilot Bryant trusted and used.

While Zobayan was generally regarded as an experienced pilot and trainer, the cause for the crash — which happened during fog that kept other helicopters grounded — is under investigation.

“It’s an extremely difficult and devastating time for Vanessa and the whole family,” a source and family friend told People.

Many fans have voiced their condolences or placed items at a makeshift memorial outside the Bryants’ home.

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