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20 Things You Didn't Know About Kobe Bryant's Family

Photograph by Getty Images

Unless you've been living under a rock or have no access to Internet, TV or radio, you'd know that Kobe Bryant retired on Wednesday after playing 20 years with the Los Angeles Lakers. Kobe's career and especially his last game—he scored an unbelievable 60 points—has been analyzed and dissected in the past few days (including this article that pinpoints all 30,699 shots that he ever took.)

What you may not have seen is this sweet pre-game video that Kobe's wife Vanessa made with their two daughters, Natalia and Gianna, wishing him well and looking forward to the time they'll be able to spend together as a family now that there isn't a basketball, a hoop and 20,000 screaming fans in their way:

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Kobe is notoriously protective of his family and they usually stay out of the spotlight, but here are a few get-to-know-them facts about the first family of basketball:

1. Vanessa was born Vanessa Cornejo Urbieta but later took the last name of her stepfather Stephen Laine.

2. Vanessa was a 17-year-old high school cheerleader when she first met Kobe in 1999.

3. The two met on the set of a music video for the band Tha Eastsidaz that featured Snoop Dog; Kobe was in the building working on his musical debut (what?) and Vanessa was a background dancer.

4. After she started to date Kobe, Vanessa finished her senior year at home; the publicity was too much for her to stay in her public school.

5. They were engaged just six months after they met in 2000.

6. They were married on April 18, 2001. Kobe was 23, Vanessa was 19.

7. Kobe's parents didn't approve of the marriage and they weren't invited to the wedding.

8. First daughter Natalia was born in January 2003.

9. Second daughter Gianna was born in May 2006.

10. Vanessa suffered a miscarriage in 2005 due to an ectopic pregnancy.

11. Kobe reconciled with his parents after Natalia was born, but they became embroiled in a legal battle in 2013 when his mother tried to auction off items of memorabilia from Kobe's early years.

12. Kobe's first tattoo was in honor of his wife; a crown with her name on it and flanked by two angel wings as symbols of his two daughters.

13. Vanessa stood by her man after he was accused of sexual assault in 2003 and admitted to an extramarital affair.

14. In an emotional interview, Kobe took the blame for his wife's 2005 miscarriage saying the stress of his affair and the rape allegations proved to be too much for his wife. "The reality is it happened because of me," he said.

15. Vanessa later filed for divorce in 2011, but she and Kobe reconciled in 2013 and they called off divorce proceedings.

16. It's rumored that Vanessa hates former fellow Laker wife Khloé Kardashian and refused to sit near her when she attended games while married to Lamar Odom.

17. Protective dad Kobe has joked that oldest daughter Natalia can only date "when she's married" and that he will be arranging the marriage.

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18. Natalia is an avid soccer player. Kobe and Vanessa are often seen cheering from the sidelines of her weekly games.

19. Apparently Gianna is the comedian in the family, and isn't afraid to make fun of her famous dad—as seen in this video mocking his seriousness.

20. Contrary to popular belief, Vanessa does work. She is credited with working in the prop departments of two films: 2004's "Man on Fire" starring Denzel Washington and 2011's "Colombiana" starring Zoe Saldana.

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