It has been a rough start to 2020 as the world has been rocked by the coronavirus pandemic that also forced the NBA to suspend the 2019-20 season until further notice.
However, amidst the coronavirus, it has already been a little over two months since the tragic death of Kobe Bryant after he, his daughter Gianna Bryant, and seven others were killed in a helicopter crash on Jan. 26. The accident shocked the world and players were using the season to honor the Los Angeles Lakers legend both on and off the court.
Bryant spent the latter seasons of his career mentoring some of the up-and-coming players in the NBA and one of his most prominent students was Kyrie Irving. Irving had a close relationship with Bryant and often looked to the Lakers icon for advice.
On a recent Instagram Live, Irving told a story about him and Bryant and revealed he is looking forward to a rematch up in heaven, via Twitter:
enjoyed Kyrie telling one of his favorite Kobe stories from the Cavs days pic.twitter.com/5uM2mHmsFY
— Wobby Farha (@WorldWideWob) March 28, 2020
The play Irving described happened during a 2012-13 regular season game where Bryant was switched onto him at the top of the key. Bryant, despite his older age, was still able to dial up the defensive intensity to get a stop on certain possession and that is exactly what happened as he kept pace with Irving and ended up blocking his shot.
It was a memorable play for Lakers fans as Bryant showed he was not ready to pass the torch and that he still remained one of the best players in the league. Although Irving and the Cleveland Cavaliers won that game, it was still a reminder of Bryant’s fierce competitiveness and unrelenting will on the basketball court.
Even amidst the current situation, stories of Bryant’s career can still give fans some reprieve and an opportunity to reminisce about his legacy.