Jackson led Bryant and the Lakers to five NBA championships, including three consecutive titles in 2000-2002.

Listen on Apple Podcasts | Spotify, Gang's All Here: A NY Jets Podcast You can e-mail him  here, find his archive here  and follow him on  Twitter . Of course, there will never be normal anymore in the Bryant household, now minus two. Jackson, an 11-time championship coach with the Lakers and Chicago Bulls, had a tradition of handing out different books to each of his players during the first long road trip of the year. This was her heartfelt "thank you" to scores of Kobe admirers worldwide and especially those in Los Angeles, the ones who elevated him to immortal status and practically adopted Gigi as their own. Those are the images that run through town, on the sides of buildings, on fresh tattoos, certainly in the heads of many. Then you learn more about him and discover and notice the breadth of his reach.

As Jimmy Kimmel said: “Everyone seems to hug each other … this only seems to happen at church or sporting events.”. The memorial of Bryant and his daughter Gianna served up a concoction of emotion, tonic for a heartbroken city and basketball world that still refuses to accept the events of Jan. 26 actually happened. He went beyond the veil.". While her mother lamented that she’ll never see a father-daughter dance at Gigi’s wedding nor have a chance to teach her how to drive, the impact of Gigi already has raised more awareness of youth and women’s sports. revealed that he exchanged texts with Kobe on the helicopter just minutes before the crash, when Kobe sought Pelinka’s help to set up a daughter of John Altobelli, the college baseball coach who perished in the crash, with a baseball internship. Nor was it merely a coincidence that Taurasi, Auriemma and Ionescu were selected to speak. Kobe Bryant's former head coach with the Los Angeles Lakers, Phil Jackson, released a statement Sunday after Bryant, his daughter Gianna and seven other people died … “My heart goes out to Vanessa and the families that lost loved ones. He wanted to be the best basketball player he could be. True to form, Kobe made a point to arrive an hour and 20 minutes early, one-upping his wife. In 2009-2010, the last season the Lakers won a championship, Jackson gave Bryant the book "Blink" by Malcolm Gladwell.

Now serving as VP of Basketball Operations and General Manager, the Lakers executive revealed that he exchanged texts with Kobe on the helicopter just minutes before the crash, when Kobe sought Pelinka’s help to set up a daughter of John Altobelli, the college baseball coach who perished in the crash, with a baseball internship. Kobe was bombarded by “wanna-be-Jordan” wisecracks and yet imitation is flattering, even to Jordan, who took a liking to Kobe’s approach to work and desire to win, though not to the phone calls at 2 a.m. and sometimes 3.

When Kobe retired, it was his turn, but one day, he arrived late and his family never let him forget it. And Celtics great Bill Russell, getting a standing ovation from the House of Lakers for his presence at the memorial and also for wearing a Kobe jersey the day before. There is no chance Kobe’s career would’ve even come close to Jordan’s had he not tried to be as good as Jordan, or even better.

That was the Kobe-inspired motivation for nearly three hours. This was as much about a movement within one gender of players as it was another. “Everywhere you go, you see his face, his number, Gigi’s face, Gigi’s number.”. Yes, still.

LeBron James just won his fourth NBA title with three different franchises.

Her favorite phrase: “I got this.”, Mostly, though: “She was an amazingly sweet and gentle soul. James vowed to continue Bryant's legacy after he died Jan. 26 in a helicopter crash. Davis said the Lakers won their first championship in 10 years for Kobe Bryant. Now serving as. There had to be as many red roses surrounding the stage at Staples as points scored by Kobe. Designed to draw laughter to disrupt the angst and pull sweet memories back to the surface. That’s why the Kobe jerseys are in short supply, unlike the “Ko-be” chants, which come frequently at Laker games, without warning and certainly without explanation. “Kobe’s last human act,” Pelinka said, “was heroic.”.

Thanks for contacting us. He made people feel good in their escape from the routine.

Her reply: “He wasn’t going to drop 81 points within the first 10 minutes of the game.”, And with a wife and four daughters, she also said this of her thoughtful man of the house: “He never left the toilet seat up.”. Kobe Bryant’s mentor and NBA legend Phil Jackson shared some heartfelt words about the former Los Angeles Laker who died in a helicopter crash in Calabasas, California, on Sunday. As for “Koko,” her pet name for Kobe, Vanessa Bryant mentioned how she had pick-up duties for the kids from school and always arrived an hour early. The sight and sound of Jordan sniffling while saying “when Kobe died, a piece of me died” was enough to turn your stomach in knots.

There were no survivors.

Buss also wrote that Bryant reached out to Jackson for book recommendations even after he retired in 2016. “(Gianna) would’ve made a huge difference in women’s basketball,” Vanessa Bryant said. Vanessa Bryant thanks admirers worldwide and provides a glimpse of the husband and father of four daughters at home.

Phil Jackson and Michael Jordan were Kobe Bryant's choices to induct him into the NBA's Hall of Fame..

“I don’t think any of us could have imagined this,” said Jimmy Kimmel, who hosted the memorial. And it measured the courage of Vanessa Bryant, a widow and now a mother of three, who somehow showed her Mamba mentality by standing before a sellout crowd and discussing her losses and managing to hold it together, save for a few understandable cracks and quivers.

But really, this was a culmination of an unfathomable month that saw a public outpouring perhaps unprecedented for any athlete, at least in L.A. Kobe gave the city and the Lakers five championships, 20 years of basketball bliss, the numbers 81 and 60 and 8 and 24, countless thrilling individual feats and a work ethic to be admired, if not copied. As Geno Auriemma, the women’s coach at Connecticut, put it: “This is the greatest collection of talent I’ve ever been around.”.

And everyone is with Gigi.


The innocence of an eighth-grader, her life barely started, with so much more to give, connects with everyone who has kids.

“The crash was a tragedy for multiple families,” Jackson said through his agent Todd Musburger. Shaq is with Kobe, his teammate for three straight titles. Sorry, your blog cannot share posts by email.

And Jordan is with Kobe.

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Rob Pelinka is with Kobe, his friend and former agent for decades and godfather to Gigi.

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The Lakers owner added that Jackson visited Bryant in January, the same month that Bryant and Gianna were killed in a helicopter crash. And Phil Jackson, the 11-time champion coach and Kobe’s favorite, temporarily halting a reclusive life in Montana.

And Jerry West, who left the Lakers organization years ago with frayed feelings, yet returned to honor the player he brilliantly acquired in a draft-day trade when Kobe was 17. Jordan also remembered how he first met Kobe by walking into Phil Jackson’s office, seeing a kid put all protocol aside by saying: “Did you bring your sneakers?”. This was Vanessa’s production, her rare venture into the public which she previously preferred to keep to Kobe, her way of revealing how Kobe was more than an NBA star while Gigi was actually your typical 13-year-old, albeit with her father’s blood-thirst on the basketball court. Vanessa shared a photo of the new tattoo she got on her foot.