Yesterday, was one of the toughest days in NBA history, as NBA legend Kobe Bryant, 41, and his 13-year-old daughter, Gianna, and seven others died in a helicopter accident in California.
Bryant, who played 20 seasons in the NBA, all with the Lakers, retired from the NBA in 2016.
There were eight games on Sunday in the NBA, and many players, coaches, and media members were visibly upset, including Wizards guard Isaiah Thomas.
Bryant and Thomas had a close relationship, and according to Thomas, the two spoke just last week.
“He meant everything to me,” Thomas said after the Wizards’ 152-133 loss to the Hawks on Sunday. “I started basketball because of Kobe Bryant… 2017, I lose my sister; 2019, I lose one my best friends in Nipsey Hussle, and to lose a mentor of mine, like, that’s bigger than basketball.
“He’s the greatest of all-time, in life, and in basketball. That’s how much I looked up to him, so his legacy gonna live forever, but this was a dent in everybody’s life that he’s touch, for sure.
“I admired him from afar, and then, I think he respects people’s work ethic. I just slowly built a relationship with him on the court, and when I got to Boston, it got a little closer where it was off the court. And then my sister passed away, and that’s when it got real close. He was one of them people that was there for me in my corner, and then I got injured, he was one of those guys who was there for me the whole time, helping me through mentally, so like I said, it’s bigger than basketball. It’s hard to even talk about it. Like, the NBA should have just canceled all the games today, for real…
“My focus was not on the game, really. It’s like, my kids called me and told me he passed away. Let that sink in.”
No one should die at 41, and sadly, we all have to deal with the fact that Kobe Bryant will never grace this earth again.
Listen to Thomas’ thoughts on Bryant below:
— Washington Wizards (@WashWizards) January 27, 2020