Kobe Bryant did a very good job removing himself from basketball after retiring from the sport and the Los Angeles Lakers following the 2015-16 NBA season.
All of this to say that Bryant was very comfortable with his post-basketball life. This is so much the case that he altogether admitted to no longer even watching basketball that often. He said that what got him back into basketball was the fact his daughter, Gianna Bryant, became a fan of the sport.
Bryant spoke about how he hardly watched basketball until his daughter got into it, via ‘All The Smoke’ podcast with Matt Barnes and Stephen Jackson:
“You know what’s funny? So before Gigi got into basketball, I hardly watched it… but now that’s she’s into basketball, we watch every night.”
With Bryant’s daughter now a fan of the game, he revealed her favorite players:
“She likes watching Trae Young a lot, she watched Luka Doncic a lot, she watches James Harden, she watches Russell Westbrook… I mean she watches Bron.”
It’s easy to tell that Bryant’s daughter got him back into basketball as it seems as though he’s been far more in the public eye this year over any other year of his retirement. He’s done TV interviews, attended Lakers games, and has overall become more of a fan of the game.
Bryant being around basketball and the Lakers will always be an exciting thing for fans as he is likely one of the most respected athletes in Los Angeles sports history. Hopefully, he continues to be present around the sport as much as he can, especially if one or more of his daughters pursue a career in basketball.
In addition, if this Lakers team finds success in the 2020 NBA playoffs, it’s a strong bet that Bryant would take his daughter to a playoff game or even a Finals game.
It’s an added layer of excitement during the 2019-20 NBA season to see Bryant being back as it shows just how far the Lakers have come since his retirement and how exciting of a time it is to be a fan.