Remembering Kobe Bryant

"Other aspects of Bryant’s life, beyond basketball, had a special salience for my husband and me. He was our age. His second child was named Gianna, which is our daughter’s name, and she was roughly the same age, went by the same nickname, Gigi, and, like our daughter, loved to play basketball. Like us, Bryant was a Roman Catholic, trying to raise his kids in the faith.

And like all of us, Bryant was a sinner. Most notoriously, in 2003, he was arrested after being accused by a young woman of rape. He maintained that he had had consensual sex with her, but apologized to her publicly, acknowledging that she saw it differently, and settled out of court. It was an ugly, and career-threatening, incident, and it must remain a factor in reckoning with Bryant’s life and career. Yet so must Bryant’s response: on the brink of divorce from his wife, Vanessa, he leaned hard on his faith and fought for his marriage, publicly crediting a priest with helping him to save it."