A tearful Pamela Bryant was brought flowers and food by those in the local community following the death of Kobe, 41, his daughter Gianna, 13, and seven others in a helicopter crash on Sunday. When asked if she had anything to say, an emotional Mrs. Bryant said, “Not right now.”
A man who spoke outside Kobe’s sister Sharia’s house in Las Vegas told The Sun: “Right now they have nothing to say but they are obviously heartbroken. “There will not be any comments from the family right away. “At some point, the family will be reaching out but right now we are all in shock. Right now they’re just trying to be a family.”
Bryant’s visibly shocked stepfather-in-law Stephen Laine – who helped raise Bryant’s wife Vanessa – told The Sun: “I just found out and can’t say much, just that I wish the family well. I just heard on the news that Gianna died as well. It’s terrible. My heart goes out to Vanessa and the kids.” The sports world was left reeling on Sunday, as news filtered in that Bryant was killed in a helicopter accident in Calabasas, California. The NBA legend reportedly heading to the Mamba Academy for a basketball practice when the private helicopter went down around 10 am local time. Kobe and his mother are believed to have had a strained relationship. His parents were reported not to have approved of his marriage to his wife, Vanessa, who he met on a video shoot in 1999 when Kobe was 20 and Vanessa was 18 and in high school. Pamela and husband Joe did not attend the couple’s wedding in Dana Point, California, in April 2001.
In 2013, it was reported that there was a family feud after Pamela and her husband, Joe, tried to auction off high school memorabilia belonging to the five-time NBA champion. According to reports, lawyers reached a settlement where six items worth around $500,000 were allowed to be auctioned. A statement from Joe and Pamela Bryant at the time read: “We regret our actions and statements related to the Kobe Bryant auction memorabilia. “We apologize for any misunderstanding and unintended pain we may have caused our son and appreciate the financial support that he has provided to us over the years.” Joe and Pamela were also not at the Lakers star’s final game before he retired. Bryant played for the Lakers during his entire 20-year NBA career.
During that time, the racked up 33,643 points, claimed five championships and was selected as an NBA All-Star 18 times. Bryant and his daughter were killed along with Orange Coast College baseball coach John Altobelli, his wife Kerry, and their daughter Alyssa. Christina Mauser, Bryant’s assistant coach in youth basketball, was also a reported victim in the crash. After TMZ broke the news of the accident, tributes from all sectors began to flood Twitter. President Trump called the reports of Bryant’s death “terrible news.” A “shocked” Michael Jordan lamented the passing of his “little brother” and the “amazing dad.” Former teammate and Lakers star Shaquille O’Neal was “sick” and speechless over the loss of his “niece” and “brother.” Former US President Barack Obama mourned the “heartbreaking” loss of the NBA great and his teenage daughter.