The NBA and their fans are still in shock and a state of grieving and mourning over the loss of Kobe Bryant.
The Los Angeles Lakers legend, along with his daughter Gianna Bryant and seven others, were killed in a helicopter crash that sent everyone reeling as soon as the news was confirmed. The Lakers organization allowed Bryant’s wife Vanessa Bryant to take the lead on how to proceed before the team issued their own statement regarding his death.
Everyone on Los Angeles roster was devastated by the news with all of them eventually taking to social media to express their feelings about the 41-year-old.
After their loss to the Portland Trail Blazers, LeBron James spoke about how happy he had seen Bryant after his retirement from basketball.
“You know for me, I was telling my wife a couple days ago… I was like, ‘You know seeing Kobe play the game of basketball for 20 years for the Lakers since he was 18 to 38… you know what’s crazy?’ She was like, ‘What?’ I was like, ‘You know what, these last three years, out of all the success he had — five rings, multiple MVPs, an All-Star game MVP of this league, first-team everything, all-life, all-world, all-basketball, felt like these last three years was the happiest I’ve seen him.'”
“I think we all can say that. Like the happiest I’ve ever seen him. Being able to just be with his daughters, be with his family.”
Bryant made it a priority to spend time with his wife and children after retiring following the conclusion of the 2015-16 NBA season, routinely seen out spending time with them and doing the things he was not able to do during his playing career. While he found success in several other business ventures, his family clearly came first and it showed.
James would later go on to talk about his own family and how being great as an NBA player sometimes forced them to the wayside at times, something that Bryant must have been well aware of during his playing career. His death is a reminder that although winning games is important, a person’s family and loved ones should always remain the No. 1 priority in their life.
Although the Lakers and James will continue to mourn Bryant’s death, they have finally begun the road to healing and normalcy and hopefully can turn their feelings and emotions into something positive. That is what Bryant would have wanted.