LOS ANGELES, CALIFORNIA - DECEMBER 29: Kobe Bryant and daughter Gianna Bryant attend a basketball game between the Los Angeles Lakers and the Dallas Mavericks at Staples Center on December 29, 2019 in Los Angeles, California. (Photo by Allen Berezovsky/Getty Images)

Kobe, the Father.

I, like you, feel the pain of the tragic passing of an iconic basketball player in Kobe Bryant

[I am tearing up as I write this]


The memories of his heroic play, day in and day out, are unforgettable for any sports fan.

I love, I mean LOVE seeing greatness in anything. Seeing people perform at the highest level, then trying to break down the psyche on how they do what they do moves me and motivates me.

Inspires me to up my game as a doctor.

Kobe’s relentless mindset to play his best at every game, even with a torn achilles, even on his very last game where he scored 61 points, even after playing great in the fourth quarter of many games despite the exhaustion setting in, is unforgettable.

But I remember Kobe’s special relationship he seemed to have with his daughters, especially Gianna “Gigi” Bryant, who also tragically passed in the helicopter crash.

I have trust issues, especially with celebrities who I think often put on a show when the cameras are on to provide a picture of who they want us to believe they are.

I seek truth in all I do and despise fakeness.

The scenes of Kobe hugging his daughters after games and looking at them in the eyes, with fatherly love, time and time again, as if there were no one watching were real.

The very last image we all saw with Kobe and Gigi is him teaching her the game of basketball sitting courtside in a Lakers game.

As much as I admire Kobe’s game, and argued with friends that he was the best basketball player ever, I connected with him most as a father than a basketball player.

I am a father of two daughters, one of them who’s name is, ironically, Gianna, and who we affectionately call “Gigi.”

As the father of “Mimi” and “Gigi,” I am continually teaching them the game, the soccer game, the school game, and the game of life (more tears flowing).

Like Kobe and many fathers out there, all I want is for my daughters to one day be happy and healthy adults.

Just like with #24, those daddy/daughter moments are priceless. For him, coaching his daughters was way more important than all the accolades he accomplished as a player.

I never met Kobe, but friends of his confirm he was more a family man than a basketball player.

Derek Jeter, an all-time great baseball player, Hall of Famer, and Kobe’s friend recently wrote, that when they got together, they did not talk sports, they talked family.

“Kobe just loved being a dad.”

Me too, I love being a dad.

And often think that I too can one day not be here to raise my girls, show them the way, be a cushion when life smacks them in the face.

Thinking of such a possibility is extremely painful.

I can only imagine what Kobe’s wife, Vanessa and his remaining daughters are going through knowing they will never see their father/ husband and daughter/sister again.

The takeaway, I guess, is for fathers to recognize the most important job in the world is that of a father.

Being the best in your craft is important too, don’t get me wrong, but if I have learned anything from the countless, successful male patients I’ve seen is that there is nothing more important than being a father.


Make every moment with your kid’s count.

Even the chaotic moments all parents face, where there are strong disagreements between father and daughter, perhaps hormones flaring, your kids doing the opposite of what you suggest – those moments are too precious.

Embrace them.

Life can be short, and you would want those moments back.

Rest in peace Kobe Bryant, Gianna “Gigi” Bryant, and the others, less famous, but very important people who also lost their lives in the crash.

I never thought I’d be writing this blog article on the premature passing of such an iconic basketball player, and remember him as a father way more than a player.

Peace and Love!

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