During Kobe Bryant’s 20-year career in the NBA, the Los Angeles Lakers superstar had plenty of experience talking to reporters before, during and after games. Bryant likely had conversations with hundreds of reporters over the span of his career, but the late Craig Sager left his mark on the five-time champion.
On Friday, Kobe made an appearance on ESPN’s Mike And Mike to talk about Sager. Bryant had nothing but praise for the 65-year-old reporter that had passed away on Thursday after losing his battle with acute myeloid leukemia:
"He was one of the rare reporters that the athlete was comfortable in being completely open with him."
— Mike & Mike (@MikeAndMike) December 16, 2016
Shortly after the news surfaced of Sager’s passing on Thursday, Bryant took to Twitter to say goodbye to the highly respected and colorful reporter that touched so many during his career.
“Time is simply how you live your life.” – Craig Sager. So grateful for the time you shared with all of us. RIP my friend #sagerstrong
— Kobe Bryant (@kobebryant) December 15, 2016
Bryant wasn’t the only one to show his respect for Sager after his passing. Many current and former Lakers also shared their condolences through social media.
Lou Williams, Nick Young, Luol Deng, Magic Johnson, and Shaquille O’Neal all took to Instagram and Twitter to share their support for a man that touched so many lives. Sager forever changed sideline reporting in professional sports and inspired many with his refusal to give up battling one of the worst diseases mankind has ever had to deal with.