Yesterday was Kobe and Vanessa Bryant’s 15th wedding anniversary. Looking back now, it’s kind of crazy that Kobe and Vanessa got married just four days before the start of the 2001 NBA Playoffs, which ended with the Lakers winning the NBA championship. But that’s when they decided to get hitched, and they're still going strong all these years later.
As you probably know, though, marriage hasn’t always been easy for the couple. They nearly broke up after Kobe was accused of sexual assault in Colorado in 2003, and back in 2011, Vanessa actually went as far as to file for divorce from Kobe. She cited “irreconcilable differences” as her official reason for wanting a divorce, and at the time, numerous sources told TMZ Sports that infidelity was at the heart of her decision to divorce Kobe.
But Kobe was determined not to let his marriage end in divorce. According to an excellent new The Undefeated story on Kobe—written by Ramona Shelburne—Kobe worked tirelessly to try and convince Vanessa not to divorce him. But he didn’t do it by sending her dozens of flowers (or by buying her a $4 million ring!). Instead, he did it by learning to play Beethoven’s “Moonlight Sonata” on the piano. And since this is Kobe we’re talking about it, he didn’t learn to play by hiring someone to teach him. He taught himself.
“I wanted to play something nice for Vanessa,” he told Shelburne. “Sitting down and taking lessons would be too easy. So I taught myself by ear.”
It wasn’t easy, but Kobe spent hours listening to “Moonlight Sonata” on loop, and eventually, he was able to learn how to play the song.
“If you just sit down and say, ‘I’m going to learn this thing until I do,’" he said, “there’s not really much out there that you can’t figure out eventually.”
Kobe was also able to convince Vanessa not to divorce him.
You can watch Kobe play the song here:
He also tweeted about playing the song after a loss to the Bulls in 2013:
Talk about setting the bar high for the rest of the guys in the world...
Shelburne’s Kobe story is filled with tons of gems just like this one. You can check it out here. You can also check out a great look at Kobe’s final game here.
Send all complaints, compliments, and tips to firstname.lastname@example.org.
[via The Undefeated]