The sudden and shocking of Kobe Bryant has been a tough pill to swallow for his fans, friends and family around the world who are grieving after the Los Angeles Lakers legend was killed in a helicopter crash along with his 13-year-old daughter, Gianna, and seven others.
It’s hit the Lakers organization and those who knew Bryant best especially hard.
“The Los Angeles Lakers would like to thank all of you for the tremendous outpouring of support and condolences. This is a very difficult time for all of us. We continue to support the Bryant family and will share more information as it is available,” the team said in a statement.
Kyle Kuzma Idolized Kobe Bryant
One especially gut-wrenching reaction came from current Lakers forward Kyle Kuzma, who admitted he wanted to be like Kobe growing up. Kuzma got to know him after joining the team three years ago.
“Damn I’ve been messed up all day…….I grew up trying to be like you. I wo,uld watch YouTube highlights as a kid trying to mimic you (and I still do) I would go to the gym as a kid and shoot fade-aways for hours acting as if every shot I took was at the buzzer just like you,” Kuzma wrote in the post. “Then 3 years ago I became a laker. You became family & a mentor to me. As a young kid I would of done anything in the world to meet you and as a rookie I had my opportunity. A dinner. A dinner with my idol Kobe Bryant. Talking about basketball, life and business with you at that moment changed my life forever man. I’m teared up just trying to write this but Kobe thank you for being a brother to me. Anything I ever needed from you, was just a call away. Thank you for all the knowledge. Thank you for just being a friend. Your inner drive is something that will never be match. Heroes come and go but you my guy will truly last forever.”
Lakers Game Against Clippers Postponed
The NBA did not cancel its slate of games on Sunday or Monday in wake of Bryant’s death, but the Lakers will have a few extra days to grieve after their contest against the Clippers scheduled for Tuesday was postponed.
“The decision was made out of respect for the Lakers organization, which is deeply grieving the tragic loss of Lakers legend Kobe Bryant, his daughter Gianna and seven other people in a helicopter crash on Sunday,” the NBA said in a statement.