Kobe Bryant and wife Vanessa had pact to ‘never fly on a helicopter together’


Kobe Bryant had a well-known preference for zipping around Southern California by helicopter — but he and his wife had a vow to never fly together, according to a report.

“He and Vanessa had a deal that they would never fly on a helicopter together,” a source told People magazine, without elaborating on the reason behind the agreement.

In a 2018 interview on “The Corp,” a Barstool Sports podcast, Bryant explained he opted to get around by helicopter during his playing days in order to beat the LA gridlock and maximize time with his wife and daughters.

“Traffic started getting really, really bad,” explained the Lakers legend. “I wound up missing, like, a school play because I was sitting in traffic. I had to figure out a way where I could still train and focus on the craft but still not compromise family time.

So that’s when I looked into helicopters, to be able to get down and back in 15 minutes, and that’s when it started.”

That precious family time included frequent jaunts to Disneyland, as memorialized in a November post on Instagram celebrating his 20th anniversary with his wife. “On this day 20 years ago I met my best friend, my Queen @vanessabryant,” wrote the retired baller, 41, in a moving caption to photos comparing the couple in 1999 and 2019.

“I decided to take her on a date to Disneyland tonight to celebrate old school style (pre 4 princesses),” he added, referring to the couple’s four daughters: Natalia, 17; Gianna, 13; Bianka, 3; and Capri, born just last June.

Bryant and his second daughter, affectionately known as GiGi, were traveling to his Mamba Sports Academy in Thousand Oaks, Calif., early Sunday for a basketball tournament, in which dad would coach and daughter was set to play.

But the chopper crashed in the Calabasas hillside amid heavy fog, killing the two plus seven others, among them veteran pilot Ara Zobayan.

The source who told People about Bryant’s pact with his wife also revealed that the athlete “only” flew in helicopters piloted by Zobayan.

The veteran pilot had over 8,000 hours of flight time as of July 2019 and was a certified flight instructor, officials from the National Transportation Safety Board have previously said.

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