Meet Pam Bryant — Everything You Need To Know About Kobe Bryant's Mom

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pamela bryant kobe bryant mom

On January 26, 2020, a plane crash in Calabasas, California claimed the lives of nine people, including Kobe Bryant, 41, and his 13-year-old daughter, Gianna. As memorials and tributes poured out, people couldn't help but wonder how his family was coping.

Fans may have known about Bryant's wife, Vanessa Bryant, and their four children, but what about his own parents? 

Who is Pam Bryant, Kobe Bryant's mom?

Here's what you need to know about Pam Bryant, the woman who raised the late NBA player.

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Pam and her husband, Joe, were reportedly "devastated" at the loss of their son and granddaughter.

As a neighbor of Bryant's mother said when she was spotted, she and her husband have been truly struggling with the loss of both Bryant and his daughter.

"They are just devastated, as you can imagine," said the source at the time. "It's a private, awful moment, losing their son and granddaughter, it's just horrific... their lives were turned upside down. They just need their peace; it's been nonstop. It's a sensitive time, I can't even imagine what they're going through. They are lovely, kind, decent people."

Photo: Tinseltown / Shutterstock

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She's a very private woman.

It's hard to find any details out about Bryant's biological mother, Pamela Cox Bryant (commonly known as Pam), since she's maintained a very private life and doesn't seem to be on social media in any public capacity.

What we do know about her is that she's of African-American ethnicity, she's been married to professional basketball player Joe "Jelly Bean" Bryant since 1975, and, including Bryant, they have three children, including daughters Sharia and Shaya.

Pam has refused to talk to the press about Bryant's accident.

When people from Pam's community came to her home bearing food and flowers, she shared that she wasn't ready to talk quite yet. "Not right now" was her response when asked if she had anything she'd like to say about the late Los Angeles Lakers player.

However, someone who spoke to the press outside of Pam's daughter Sharia's house said they were "obviously heartbroken," though they wouldn't be speaking out at the time — and, so far, it doesn't seem like anything has changed since.

"Right now they have nothing to say but they are obviously heartbroken," the source said. "There will not be any comments from the family right away. At some point, the family will be reaching out but right now we are all in shock. Right now they're just trying to be a family."

Pam has yet to speak out to this day, unlike Los Angeles Lakers Legend Magic Johnson who has been incredibly public about his grief of Kobe's tragic death.

Kobe and his mother had a complicated relationship. 

It's common knowledge that Kobe and his parents were not close and that there had been a rift between them for years. Many believe the rift started when Kobe decided he wanted to marry Vanessa Laine when he was 21 years old.

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Joe and Pam Bryant didn't want him to go through with it. They were so upset that they apparently didn't go to his wedding. Reportedly, the main reason for their objection was because they didn't want their daughter-in-law to be from a different race.

Vanessa is of Latina descent. Pam also believed Kobe was too young to get married.

Their distance grew after the very public lawsuit Kobe filed against his parents in 2013.

After Pam Bryant attempted to auction off memorabilia that she claimed Kobe had given her from his high school and professional basketball career in order to buy a new house, they ended up bringing their dispute to court. Later, he settled with the auction house for an undisclosed amount, and the auction went on as planned.

Bryant's parents released a public apology to their son, saying, "We apologize for any misunderstanding and unintended pain we have caused our son and appreciate the financial support he has provided over the years."

Photo: Tinseltown / Shutterstock

Pam Bryant didn't speak at his funeral or memorial service.

Joe and Pamela Bryant did end up going to their son's funeral as well as his memorial service that was held at the Staples Center; however, neither parent spoke at either service.

Among the attendees of Kobe Bryant's memorial service that celebrated his and his daughter Gianna's lives were Shaquille O’Neal, Lamar Odom, and Derek Fisher.

Bryant was with her family on the one-year anniversary of her son's death.

Pam and her husband, along with their daughter Sharia Washington, spent the day out on the anniversary of Kobe Bryant's passing. They were reportedly seen near their Las Vegas home where they got take out from Café Zupas.

Pam's husband then went to Target to pick up household goods. Pam and her daughter went to their local Petland. They were close to a colorful mural memorial of 41-year-old Kobe and 13-year-old Gianna that was created by fans.

A passerby had this to say: “Just getting out with their daughter and doing ‘normal’ things is important, even for a family that was hit by something so terrible, somehow life has to go on.”

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Nicole Pomarico is an entertainment and lifestyle writer whose work has appeared in Cosmo, Us Weekly, Refinery29, and more.