#Girldad Trends Following ESPN Presenter's Touching Kobe Bryant Story about How Much He Loved His Daughters

ESPN anchor Elle Duncan shared an emotional tribute to Kobe Bryant on Monday night, recounting how a fleeting meeting with the NBA star had highlighted how much he loved his daughters.

The 41-year-old died on Sunday morning when the helicopter he was flying in crashed in Calabasas, California, northwest of Los Angeles.

Bryant's 13-year-old daughter Gianna was among the victims, along with other seven people.

"When I reflect on the tragedy and the half-an-hour I spent with Kobe Bryant two years ago, I suppose the only small source of comfort for me is knowing he died doing what he loved the most," Duncan explained on SportsCenter on Monday, as she choked back the tears.

"Being a dad. Being a girl dad."

Earlier, she had recounted an encounter she had with Bryant backstage for a ESPN event in New York City two years ago, when he had told her how much he loved and cherished being "a girl dad" as he put it.

Duncan was eight months pregnant at the time and as she approached the former Los Angeles Lakers star for a picture, he began asking her questions about her pregnancy, ranging from her due date to the sex of the baby.

When Duncan told Bryant she was expecting a girl, he high-fived her and told her that "girls are the best", before the ESPN host asked her advices on being a parent to a girl as Bryant had three at the time.

"He said: 'Just be grateful you have been given that gift, because girls are amazing'," Duncan recalled.

As I knew she would, @elleduncanESPN brought a much-needed perspective to the death of #KobeBryant. Proud of you, Sis! pic.twitter.com/VfbuAgg6AN #Kobe

— Michael Eaves (@michaeleaves) January 28, 2020

At the time, Bryant's third daughter Bianka was approximately one year old, and the five-time NBA champion confessed to Duncan his wife, Vanessa, wanted another baby in the hope of having a boy but was "jokingly concerned" they may have another girl.

When Duncan asked Bryant how he would feel at having four girls and whether he would prefer a boy instead, the reply surprised her.

"Without hesitation, he said: 'I would have five more girls if I could, I'm a girl dad'," she continued.

Choking back the tears, Duncan recalled Bryant had pointed out that Gianna was following his footpath in basketball and she was "a monster, a beast and better than I was at her age."

The clip of Duncan's emotional tribute to the late Lakers legend was shared on Twitter by ESPN journalist Michael Eves and immediately went viral. At the time of writing, it had been viewed by almost seven million people and shared thousands of times across social media.

Duncan wasn't the only TV host to share a heartfelt goodbye to Bryant on Monday night, as an emotional Jimmy Fallon retold the touching tale about the first time he met the 18-time All-Star.

The late-night host was a 21-year-old comedian who had just arrived in Los Angeles, while the 17-year-old Bryant had just joined the Los Angeles Lakers when they cross path for the first time.

The two met at a party where neither knew many of the other guests in attendance and immediately hit it off, with Fallon joining Bryant when the latter volunteered to make a beer run for the group.

From that moment on, a friendship blossomed.

"Kobe [Bryant] had four daughters and I had two daughters," Fallon said.

"And today, he and one of his girls are gone but I think I knew Kobe enough to know that he rose to any challenge by digging deeper and getting back to work so let's honor Kobe, Gianna, and the other lives that were lost yesterday by following his example."

Kobe Bryant
Kobe Bryant and his daughter Gianna Bryant attend a basketball game between the Los Angeles Lakers and the Atlanta Hawks at Staples Center on November 17, 2019 in Los Angeles, California. Allen Berezovsky/Getty