Who are Kobe Bryant’s Parents and do you know about Kobe’s problematic relationship with his parents?


Here is all you need to know about Kobe Bryant’s parents and the relationship Kobe had with his parents

Kobe Bean Bryant, popularly known as Kobe Bryant is a legendary personality known all over the world. Bryant’s basketball skills have transcended all over the world and have inspired future generations.

Kobe Bryant played for the Los Angeles Lakers
LOS ANGELES, CA – APRIL 13: Kobe Bryant #24 of the Los Angeles Lakers reacts while taking on the Utah Jazz at Staples Center on April 13, 2016 in Los Angeles, California. (Photo by Harry How/Getty Images)

Born on August 23, 1978, Kobe Bryant played in the National Basketball Association (NBA) for the Los Angeles Lakers. LA Lakers is a legendary franchise and Kobe had a huge role to play in the franchise’s growth.

Throughout his NBA career, Kobe played for the Lakers and helped the LA Lakers win five NBA championships. Along with five championship rings, Kobe is a two-time NBA Finals MVP, NBA Most Valuable Player (2008), eighteen-time NBA All-Star and four-time NBA All-Star Game MVP. Apart from this, Bryant has a long list of records. Notably, Bryant is also a two-time Olympic Gold medallist, (2008 Beijing, 2012 London).

Kobe had a brilliant career. But his personal life was not that smooth, especially with his parents. Let’s know more about Kobe Bryant’s parents and the relationship Kobe had with them.

Who are Kobe Bryant Parents?

kobe bryant with his parents
Kobe Bryant with his parents, Joe and Pam Bryant. (Image: Google)

It might come as a surprise, but Kobe Bryant is not the first Bryant family member to play in the NBA. Before Kobe entered the NBA, Kobe’s father and his maternal uncle were the first in his family to play in the NBA.

Kobe’s father is Joseph Washington Bryant or fondly called, Joe “Jellybean” Bryant, while his maternal uncle is John ‘Chubby’ Cox. Both of them were basketball professionals, having played in the NBA and overseas.

Joe started his career by playing college basketball for the Le Salle Explorers. While playing for college ball, Joe averaged 8 points, 1.1 assists, and 11.1 rebounds per game for two seasons. Joe’s college career gave him the opportunity to play in the NBA.

In the NBA Draft, Joe was selected with the 14th pick by the Warriors. He was then immediately traded to the Philadelphia 76ers. He then played for the SanDiego (now Los Angeles) Clippers, and finally, the Houston Rockets. Further, after eight years in the NBA, Joe went on to play overseas. He left the USA and went to Italy to play in the Italy – LBA Serie A.

After Joe’s playing days were over, he came back and became the head coach of the WNBA franchise, Los Angeles Sparks. But since 2011, Joe is inactive and hasn’t taken any roles in the NBA or the WNBA. In fact, he remains mostly out of the spotlight. 

On the other hand, Kobe’s maternal uncle, John ‘Chubby’ Cox played for the Washington Bullets (now Wizards) in the ’80s.

Furthermore, Kobe’s mother, Pamela Cox Bryant was born in 1954, and as said, is the sister of former NBA player Chubby Cox. Pam enjoys a private life but is known to be a socialite.

At the age of 21, Pamela married Joe. Pam and Joe have three children named Sharia, Shaya, and Kobe.

The problematic relationship between Kobe Bryant and his parents

kobe bryant had a problematic relationship with his parents
Kobe with his sisters, Sharia, and Shaya. (Image: Google)

Kobe and his parents had a good relationship while Kobe was growing up. Due to Kobe’s father’s commitment, Kobe spent his entire childhood in Italy. Bryant learned Italian and even started playing soccer on a local level.

When Kobe was 13, the Bryant’s moved back to USA and Kobe became more focused on basketball. Pretty soon he was drafted by the NBA.

Even when Kobe started his professional journey in the NBA, Kobe’s parents were supportive and stuck with him throughout. Kobe and his parents even celebrated Black Mamba‘s first NBA championship win back when the Lakers won the title in 2000.

Afterwhile, things started to go downhill when Kobe started dating Vanessa Bryant. Kobe’s parents didn’t approve of Kobe’s and Vanessa’s relationship because of their ethnic race differences.

Kobe belonged to a traditional African-American family while Vanessa wasn’t African-American — she was of Hispanic heritage.

Moreover, the relationship between Kobe and his parents turned more problematic when Kobe decided to get engaged to Vanessa when he was merely 21. Vanessa was a seventeen-year-old high school student at the time and had been trying her luck at music videos.

Apparently, Kobe’s parents were not happy with Kobe’s decision to get engaged at such a young age. Joe and Pam wanted Kobe to focus on his NBA career and live his life before getting married.

However, Kobe didn’t listen to his parent’s wishes and got hitched to Vanessa in 2001. To mark their displeasure, Pam, Joe, and Kobe’s two older sisters, Sharia and Shaya, did not attend their wedding.

Kobe and his parents falling out were quite evident in 2001 when Kobe was upset despite winning his second NBA trophy with the LA Lakers.

Moreover, the situation got worse when Joe and Pam Bryant tried to sell off memorabilia belonging to Kobe. A frustrated Kobe Bryant took offense at his parents’ actions and filed a lawsuit against them.

Reportedly, Kobe won the lawsuit and received a public apology from his parents, who said they regretted causing their son “misunderstanding and unintended pain.”

Did the situation improve between Kobe Bryant and his parents?

kobe bryant had a problematic relationship with his parents
Kobe sharing a heartfelt moment with his father Joe. (Image: Google)

Needless to say, the status of Kobe and his parents did not improve for years. There was literally a cold war among the affected parties.

However, after Kobe’s first child was born in 2003, there was a brief moment of reconciliation between Mamba and his parents.

Though there was this ‘brief reconciliation’ between Kobe and his parents, the relationship largely remained strained over the years. Kobe also had a fallout with his two older sisters as they were too financially dependent on him. Eventually, he had to cut them off for their own good.

In a turn of events, after Kobe retired from the NBA, things started to get better between Mamba and his parents.

After his tenure in the NBA was over, it was in reports that Bryant was trying to make amends with himself and his parents.

It is said that the relationship between Kobe and his parents was gradually improving but untimely tragedy struck and Kobe passed in a helicopter crash.

Both Pam and Joe were present during Kobe’s memorial. The sisters even released a statement following his death, stating that they enjoyed a very close relationship with his brother until the end of his life.

If it hadn’t been for the tragedy, who knew, Kobe and his parents might be on good terms again.

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