Legendary Lions running back Barry Sanders waited a few days to share his thoughts on the matter, and provided a great take. Sanders shared his condolences for Bryant and his family as well as the other families involved.
If there’s one person who could understand the type of impact Bryant made, it was Sanders, who was one of the better NFL players in history thanks to his work with the Lions.
As Sanders said, Bryant’s legacy will never be forgotten, because it will live on in the hearts and minds of everyone who was touched by him. It’s a great, introspective take that many folks likely need to hear.
Darius Slay Shares Tribute to Kobe Bryant
Slay himself had a deep love of Bryant, and often referred to him as his idol. As such, it was downright sad to watch Slay find out about Bryant’s passing in real time on social media.
Like the others, Slay was completely stunned to learn of Bryant’s passing, calling him “my guy” in a tweet right after he had heard of the tragedy.
Slay then shared a photo of the moment he met Bryant back in 2015, a very special time where the duo came together following Bryant’s last game against the Detroit Pistons.
Slay featured a video in which he is shown warming up wearing Bryant’s number and jersey, proving just what a big fan he was.
Darius Slay Shared Bond With Kobe Bryant
The loss of Bryant touches everyone deeply, but it’s safe to say it might hit Slay the hardest of all. Slay was a fan of Bryant forever, and wore his number routinely growing up. When Bryant came to Detroit to finish out his NBA career, Slay was in attendance and finally got to meet his idol.
ESPN’s Michael Rothstein detailed the chance encounter with a legend in a story, and explained how Slay got to meet with Bryant for a few minutes after the game. It’s something which Slay was clearly excited about. Bryant was also fired up to connect with Slay.
“I’m in a zone right now,” Slay said. “That’s my dawg. That’s my boy, man. It’s great to see him out here, see him play in person, meet him in person, shake his hand. And he was kind of excited about getting my jersey. So it ain’t get no better than that.”
This was the seventh time Slay had watched Bryant play in person. It was the first time he met Bryant — and Slay told Bryant how much of an inspiration he had been. Slay has often talked about how Bryant is his favorite player and how he’s looked up to him.
“It’s an awesome feeling,” Bryant said. “What I enjoy hearing from them is how my mentality or my approach to the game is something that has inspired them. Something that they think of when they’re preparing or they’re training, and it’s inspirational for me as well to hear that from them.”
Safe to say a little part of Bryant will live on with Slay considering how much he was influenced by the legend. It’s also safe to say the words of Sanders could provide some comfort to all those who feel as saddened as Slay.
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