Joe Bryant seen for the first time since Kobe’s tragic accident
Joe “Jellybean” Bryant, the father of the late Kobe Bryant, was seen for the first time since his son’s tragic helicopter accident.
Joe and Kobe were reportedly on the cusp of fixing a relationship that had been very rocky for many years. Kobe was seen hugging his father during a basketball camp in California.
“I just remember being with him up at his camp in Santa Barbara and seeing him hug his dad. You know how they loved each other from how they looked at each other, how they smiled,” said Wayne Slappy, Kobe’s former coach and one of Joe’s friends, said of the two men.
Kobe’s parents are reportedly “devastated” by the tragic loss of their son and their granddaughter Gianna, 13, who was one of the nine passengers aboard the helicopter when it crashed into the hillsides of Calabasas on Sunday.
Joe Bryant had been “all happy and good and talking about the gorgeous weather” the previous day, said a neighbor, asking not to be identified. “Then it switched in 24 hours where their lives were turned upside down.”
Kobe Bryant had a falling out with his parents in 2013 when they tried to peddle some of his memorabilia, including two high school uniforms and a pair of Los Angeles Lakers championship rings from 2000, all without his knowledge.
The Lakers star told ESPN in 2016: “Our relationship is s**t. I say, ‘I’m going to buy you a very nice home,’ and the response is, ‘That’s not good enough?’ Then you’re selling my s**t?”
Kobe also criticized his sisters at the time, calling them “very smart, college-educated” women but noting they had become too financially reliant on his earnings.
While the Bryant family could wind up healing at some point, it will be slow to come, considering all the unresolved issues that never found a way to an understanding before his tragic death on Sunday, Jan. 26.