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Friday, March 11, 2011
Kobe Bryant's parents unhurt in Japan

ESPNLosAngeles.com

Kobe Bryant's parents are safe but dealing with the aftermath after experiencing the devastating earthquake in Japan.

The Los Angeles Lakers star told 710 ESPN Radio's John Ireland that he had spoken to his parents, Joe and Pam Bryant, Friday morning. Their Tokyo hotel had been evacuated but they were unhurt.

Joe "Jellybean" Bryant, who played in the NBA for eight seasons and then overseas, is the former coach of the Tokyo Apache. He sat courtside next to Apache owner Michael Lerch during Wednesday's game.

Joe Bryant guided the Japanese Basketball League's financially troubled Hokkaido club for the first few months of the season, but he is not currently the coach.

The Bryants recently attended the Sapporo Snow Festival, which is in the northern part of the country, on a separate island.

In a coincidence, Joe Bryant was hired as an assistant coach of the WNBA's Los Angeles Sparks, it was announced Friday. He was an assistant and head coach with the Sparks in late 2005 and all of 2006.