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“My mom is the real firecracker” — Kobe Bryant on where he got his competitiveness from

Kobe's father Joe is an ex-NBA player but the Black Mamba claimed it was his mother Pamela that taught him to be competitive.
Pam Bryant and young Kobe Bryant

Pam Bryant and Kobe Bryant

Kobe Bryant’s tenacity and passion on the floor proved he was one of the best to do it. These are some of the traits that cannot be learned overnight. Fortunately, Bryant grew up in a sports-oriented household, having an ex-pro basketball player as a father, but he credited his mom for his competitive nature.

“My mom is the real firecracker”

Kobe Bryant’s father was ex-NBA player Joe Bryant who also had stints in Italy and France. Growing up, young Kobe would tag along and watch his father’s games, but according to the Black Mamba, his competitiveness didn’t come from Joe.

I get my competitiveness from my mother, that’s for sure. She’s the competitive one. My father is competitive, but he’s kind of like very happy, go-lucky guy who has a mean streak in him, but he’s such an extrovert. My mom is the real firecracker.

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Pamela Cox Bryant has relatively stayed away from the limelight aside from occasional news. A former socialite, Pam married Joe in 1975, and they raised Kobe with two other daughters, Sharia and Shaya.

Kobe’s relationship with his parents

Bryant maintained an up-and-down relationship with his parents. Joe and Pamela allegedly tried to sell Kobe’s memorabilia without the player’s approval. Ultimately, the Laker star’s parents had to issue a public apology.

We apologize for any misunderstanding and unintended pain we have caused our son and appreciate the financial support he has provided over the years.

But, despite the apology, the damage has been done. His parents also allegedly didn’t attend Kobe’s wedding to Vanessa in 2001 as they didn’t give their approval. Kobe was only 21 years old then, too young to tie the knot, in their opinion.

Kobe had a falling out with his parents that only ended as recently as two years ago. Just as the Black Mamba had begun communicating with Joe and Pam once again, the tragedy happened, ending any hopes of a complete reconciliation in the family.

Bryant’s relationship with Joe and Pamela might have been far from ideal, but they shaped him into the man and player he was: competitive, fiery, and passionate. Without their upbringing, Kobe’s life would have been different for sure. 

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