Kobe Bryant’s widow is said to be inconsolable as reports emerge of a pact she had with her husband never to fly in helicopters together.
According to People Magazine, Vanessa Bryant is “struggling to comprehend” the tragic loss of her husband and 13-year-old daughter Gianna.
“It’s an extremely difficult and devastating time for Vanessa and the whole family,” a friend of the family reportedly told People.
“She can hardly keep it together,” People quoted another source close to the family.
“She can’t finish a sentence without crying. But she is working very hard to pull it together for the other girls. She now has to be the strong one.”
Kobe and Gianna are survived by Vanessa, as well as the couple’s other daughters Natalia, 17, Bianka, 3, and Capri, seven months.
People is also reporting that Kobe and Vanessa vowed never to fly in helicopters together just in case the worse happened.
“He and Vanessa had a deal that they would never fly on a helicopter together,” People quoted the insider.
Devastating reason Kobe starting travelling by helicopter
Kobe, Gianna and seven other people were killed when the helicopter they were travelling in crashed in Southern California on Sunday.
It was a common mode of transport for the five-time NBA champion, who preferred the time-saving benefits of travelling via the sky to battling Los Angeles' notorious traffic on the road.
Among other reasons, the father-of-four chose to travel in a helicopter so he could spend more time with his family.
According to a GQ profile from 2010, Bryant also swore by the helicopter as a way to keep himself in the best physical state during his career.
“Sexy as it might seem, Bryant says the helicopter is just another tool for maintaining his body," the article stated.
"It’s no different than his weights or his whirlpool tubs or his custom-made Nikes. Given his broken finger, his fragile knees, his sore back and achy feet, not to mention his chronic agita, Bryant can’t sit in a car for two hours.
"The helicopter, therefore, ensures that he gets to Staples Centre feeling fresh, that his body is warm and loose and fluid as mercury when he steps onto the court.”
Bryant revealed on The Corp with A-Rod and Big Cat in December 2018 that his family was central in his decision to start using helicopters.
The consummate professional had a gruelling routine that included early morning gym sessions, before he'd return home to take his girls to school.
“That’s what I did every morning,” Bryant said.
The NBA legend would travel to downtown LA for practice but took comfort in being able to pick the kids up in the afternoon and partake in “after school activities, all that fun stuff”.
“But then traffic started getting really, really bad and I was sitting in traffic and wound up missing things like the school play,” Bryant said.
“I had to figure out a way I could still train and focus on the craft (of basketball), but also not compromise family time.
“That’s when I started looking into helicopters to get up and back (from training).
“My wife was like, ‘I can pick them up’ and I was like, ‘No, no, no, I want to do that’. Because you have road trips (away from home) and times where you don’t see your kids, you know, so every chance I get to spend time with them — even if it’s 20 minutes in the car — I want that.”