The sudden and tragic death of NBA legend Kobe Bryant left the entire world reeling, with everyone from Barack Obama to Donald Trump posting online tributes to the former Los Angeles Laker. Bryant was one of nine people killed in a helicopter crash in Calabasas, California, on January 26, per TMZ. He was 41 years old.
Bryant’s daughter Gianna Maria-Onore Bryant also died in the crash. She was just 13 years old. According to ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski, they were on their way to Bryant’s training facility Mamba Academy to play basketball in Thousand Oaks when the helicopter crashed into a hillside. Bryant is survived by his wife Vanessa Bryant, and his other three daughters Natalia, Bianka and Capri.
Bryant’s legacy is beyond vast, and the entire basketball community remain reeling in the wake of his tragic death, along with the eight other lives lost in the accident. While innumerable stars took to social media to express shock, sorrow, or support for Vanessa and the Bryant family, one NBA star who had a close relationship with Bryant deleted his social media accounts entirely.
Reigning NBA MVP Giannis Antetokounmpo Deletes Social Media Accounts After Kobe Bryant’s Death
Milwaukee Bucks superstar Giannis Antetokounmpo had developed a strong bond with Bryant over the last several years. They have spent the last few summers working out together, and after Bryant challenged the young Buck to win the NBA MVP award via Twitter in 2017, Antetokounmpo won it last year. Bryant then issued Antetokounmpo a new challenge: win an NBA Championship. The two shared a good deal of meaningful interactions via social media, so it’s not surprising Antetokounmpo left or took a break from Twitter and Instagram for awhile.
Antetokounmpo has yet to become an NBA champion, but he has his team in position to make a run for one again this year. The Bucks are 40-6 and currently have the league’s best record.
“I was just trying to expand my game,” Antetokounmpo said last year when discussing why he chose to work out with Bryant in the offseason. Antetokounmpo noted that Bryant also shared some solid words of wisdom with him, with one of the best nuggets being: “Be a kid (when you play the game) … when you’re a kid, you always wanna learn. You ask questions.” You can see Antetokounmpo discuss his workouts with Bryant in the video below.