And on July 3, the day before he turned himself in to Colorado authorities, Bryant called 911 to get medical attention for a woman at his home. Paramedics left after 20 minutes.

"All of that is news to me," said Laine, 66, a former Long Beach police sergeant.

Basketball in his genes

Behind all of Kobe Bryant's success has been plenty of Joe Bryant's grooming.

An NBA journeyman who played with the Philadelphia 76ers, the San Diego Clippers and the Houston Rockets, Joe "Jelly Bean" Bryant saw promise Aug. 23, 1978, the day his third child, Kobe Bean Bryant, was born in Philadelphia.

Joe Bryant brought his family with him to Rieti, Italy, for eight years to finish his professional basketball career, then moved his children back to America in December 1991.

"Joe was networked into the NBA and knew what it took for Kobe to make the pros," said Norm Eavenson, who scouted Bryant for the Bob Gibbons All-Star Report. "Every step was planned for him, and Kobe was the beneficiary of Joe's knowledge and protection."

The Bryants lived in a two-story home in the upper-class Philadelphia suburb of Wynnewood.

Joe Bryant started his 13-year-old son in the Sonny Hill Summer League for training and exposure. He took his son a mile to St. Joseph's University, where the practicing 76ers made room on the floor for an ex-player's son, and 15 miles to Temple University, where future NBA players Eddie Jones and Aaron McKie took Kobe Bryant under their wing.

For his son, the father coached, hired a personal trainer and handled media requests. He crafted the prodigal reputation befitting a consensus All-America guard and USA Today and Naismith National Player of the Year.

Bryant led Lower Merion High to the 1996 Class AAAA state title and established a Southeastern Pennsylvania high school scoring record with 2,883 points, besting Wilt Chamberlain's mark.

In the stands for all the games was Joe Bryant. Often, Kobe's mother, Pamela, his two older sisters, Shaya and Sharia, his maternal grandfather, John Cox Jr., and uncle, Chubby Cox, joined the rooting section.

His family surrounded him the day he announced that he would bypass college for the NBA and the day he became Charlotte's top selection in the 1996 draft. He was then traded to the Lakers.

"Kobe was posse-less," Eavenson said, noticing the absence of rowdy teenagers in Bryant's entourage. "His family was always around, supporting him."

Except when Kobe Bryant decided to get married. That was a rift that caused a father and a son not to speak until recently.

A young husband

Bryant met Vanessa Laine, a beautiful 17-year-old Latina model, at the 1999 filming of a music video. He was a basketball star just coming into his own; she was a student at Marina High in Huntington Beach.

During the 2000 NBA playoffs, they were engaged, a public announcement that privately disappointed Joe Bryant, who thought his son - then 22 - was too young to marry. The news crushed Jocelyn Ebron, who believed she was still Bryant's girlfriend.

Ebron had dated Bryant during high school and continued seeing him when he became a Laker, according to her brother, Brandon Ebron.

Bryant married Vanessa Laine in a private April 2001 ceremony at St. Edward Roman Catholic Church in Dana Point. His best man was his best friend and cousin, John Cox IV, a University of San Francisco basketball player.