With a common bond over the trials and tribulations of reaching the top of their respective leagues, professional athletes tend to admire one another regardless of the sport. Such appears to be the case with Kobe Bryant and Terrell Owens.
While no one would call Bryant perfect, he was lauded for a maniacal work ethic and dedication to his craft. Bryant’s ability to hit a fadeaway jump shot over two defenders was matched by an uncanny capability to play through injury.
He regularly was heralded as one of the better conditioned players, if not the best, and his preparation was second to none.
It’s some of those characteristics that prompted Terrell Owens to thank Bryant and speak highly of him during his 2018 Pro Football Hall of Fame speech, via SportsCenter:
“Kobe Bryant, thanks for showing me what passion and love for your craft looks like. I admired you from afar. You set the standard for hard work and dedication, and it was amazing to watch.”
Unlike other members of this year’s Hall of Fame class, Owens spoke from the University of Tennessee Chattanooga, instead of Canton, Ohio. In addition to Bryant, he thanked family, friends and fans for their continued support.
Owens explained his decision to not attend the official Hall of Fame ceremony was in effort to spark change for what he perceives as mistreatment of certain athletes who have been eligible to be enshrined.
Owens and Bryant have crossed paths in the past, and had a particularly mutual interest when the former wide receiver played two seasons for the Philadelphia Eagles, Bryant’s NFL team of choice.