The reason Kobe Bryant was travelling in a helicopter has been unearthed as the world continues to mourn the death of the NBA legend and his 13-year-old daughter Gianna.
The Los Angeles Lakers icon and "Gigi", one of his and wife Vanessa's four children, were tragically killed yesterday when their chopper crashed into hills in Calabasas, California.
Nobody survived the crash and local authorities confirmed there were nine fatalities in total, including friends and teammates of Gianna.
The group was travelling to Bryant's Mamba Sports Academy in Thousand Oaks, California, for a basketball match in which Gianna would play and the NBA great would coach in. Tragically, they never made it.
Travelling in helicopters was nothing new for Bryant, who made a habit of taking to the skies to avoid Los Angeles' traffic.
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Spending 20 years at the Lakers before his retirement in 2016, Bryant wanted to ensure he could fulfil his basketball and family commitments — and that meant not wasting time on LA's congested roads.
Ultimately, Bryant's desire to spend more quality time with his family convinced him flying was the smartest option.
Speaking on The Corp with A-Rod and Big Cat in December 2018, Bryant went into detail about his training schedule and why he decided to regularly use helicopters.
Bryant's strict daily routine saw him wake up at 4am, lift weights at 5am and then be back home in time to be with his girls when they woke at 6.30am and take them to school.
"That's what I did every morning," Bryant said.
He'd then travel to downtown LA for practise — a trip he could make in 30-40 minutes early in his career "before people started moving down south" where he lived in Orange County.
After getting extra shots up and treatment after practise he could still be back in time to pick his children up from school and be there for "after school activities, all that fun stuff".
"But then traffic started getting really, really bad and I was sitting in traffic and wound up missing things like the school play," Bryant said.
"I had to figure out a way I could still train and focus on the craft (of basketball), but also not compromise family time.
"That's when I started looking into helicopters to get up and back (from training).
"My wife was like, 'I can pick them up' and I was like, 'No, no, no, I want to do that'. Because you have road trips (away from home) and times where you don't see your kids, you know, so every chance I get to spend time with them — even if it's 20 minutes in the car — I want that."
However, Bryant and his wife did take steps to avoid the worst. "He and Vanessa had a deal that they would never fly on a helicopter together," a source told People magazine of the couple.