It’s been well-documented through videos and pictures of how close Kobe was to his daughter, Gianna. They did everything together, including attending professional basketball games and practicing on the court as Kobe taught Gianna everything he knew. He loved her just as much as his other daughters Natalia, Bianka, and Capri, though. He loved being a girl dad. His conversation with ESPN’s Elle Duncan, which just came to light, would cement the hashtag that is being used throughout social media.
Following the news coverage of Bryant’s death, ESPN anchor, Elle Duncan, shared a touching story of the time that Kobe and she interacted just several years prior.
At the time, Duncan was eight months pregnant, something which Bryant noticed while both were backstage for an ESPN event in New York City. As Bryant approached her, Duncan was star-struck. The Lakers legend asked her whether she knew if it was going to be a boy or a girl, to which Duncan shared that she was expecting a daughter. Bryant’s face instantly lit up.
I’m so moved by the outpouring of support behind my story about Kobe. And I love that #girldad is trending.. so for all those proud fathers who still have their girls to love on can you flood my timeline with pics of you and your flock. Honestly I need it as much as anyone rt now
— Elle Duncan (@elleduncanESPN) January 28, 2020
Bryant, who has self-proclaimed to love having daughters, told Duncan, “Girls are the best. Just be grateful that you have been given that gift because girls are amazing.”
Duncan then asked Kobe if he and his wife, Vanessa, were planning on having any more children, knowing they already had three daughters. Bryant joked that his wife was worried about possibly having another daughter and there being too much estrogen in the house. For Bryant though, he knew what he wanted. “I would have five more girls if I could,” he said. “I’m a girl dad.”
— SportsCenter (@SportsCenter) January 28, 2020
While this conversation took place sometime before his untimely death, the loss of Gianna, while the two were on the way to one of her basketball games at the Mamba facility, highlighted his dedication and the love that he had for his daughters. It was with Duncan’s story, combined with the tragic deaths of Kobe and Gianna, that the hashtag really took off and propagated itself throughout social media platforms. Soon celebrities and others alike were posting pictures of themselves with their daughters, making sure to include the hashtag.
— Carthage Football (@carthagefball) January 30, 2020
The tragic deaths sent shockwaves throughout the world, reminding parents to hug their children extra hard, as they could be lost at any given moment.
Vanessa Bryant, upon breaking her silence following her husband and daughter’s deaths, posted to Instagram a heartfelt statement thanking the millions of people who have offered support and condolences during the family’s trying time. She also shared that they had experienced comfort in knowing how much Kobe loved Gianna and their other daughters. Of course, the widow also included the hashtag that was made popular by a father who would do anything for his girls, #DadGirl.
Vanessa Bryant took to Instagram to share her feelings on the tragic death of her husband and daughter, Kobe and Gianna pic.twitter.com/dKMtfFgBEe
— Sports Illustrated (@SInow) January 30, 2020