Having a child, any child, is a blessing. But for centuries, a couple having a son has been pushed as the most important thing. A boy carries on the family name, continues tradition. A daughter is cute, there to be spoiled and made into daddy’s girl.
But we call bull on that, and as it turns out, so does Kobe Bryant‘s daughter.
While visiting Jimmy Kimmel Live earlier this week, the retired NBA star shared that during his retirement, he’s been coaching his daughter’s basketball team. He didn’t specify which child (he has 15-year-old Natalia, 12-year-old Gianna and 1-year-old Bianka), but middle child Gianna has been lauded for her burgeoning skills on the court. He actually refers to her as “mambacita,” a reference to his nickname, the “Black mamba.” Bryant said, “my girls, we practice every night,” and the team he coaches is “doing well” after more than a year of leading them.
“What we try to teach the kids is what excellence looks like,” he said. “Some of them may want to play in the WNBA, some of them may not, but we try to give them a foundation of the amount of work and preparation it takes to be excellent in whatever it is you choose to do. So we’re here playing basketball, we’re going to focus on the details. We’re going to learn the basics. We’re going to learn the fundamentals. We’re going to do those things over and over and hopefully it’s something they can apply to other areas of their life.”
But when it comes to his daughter, Gianna wants to play in the WNBA and follow in her dad’s footsteps. So when people come up to him when she’s around and say that he needs to have a son, she shuts all of that down.
“The best thing that happens is when we go out and fans will come up to me and she’ll be standing next to me. They’ll be like, ‘Hey, you gotta have a boy! You and V gotta have a boy, somebody to carry on the tradition, the legacy,'” he said. “She’s like, ‘Oye, I got this. You don’t need a boy for that. I got this.’ I’m like, ‘That’s right, you got this!'” (Oye by the way means “Listen” in Spanish — his wife, Vanessa, is of Mexican background.)
And while Kobe is just fine with his three girls, he did admit last year that it’s Vanessa, of all people, who would like to have a boy.
“We’ll see,” he said. “I love having my girls. I think Vanessa wants a boy more than I do. It doesn’t matter to me.”