Phil Jackson was alongside Kobe Bryant throughout the majority of the Lakers star's career. On Sunday, following the sudden death of Bryant, Jackson reflected on their relationship.
"The crash was a tragedy for multiple families. My heart goes out to Vanessa and the families that lost loved ones," Jackson told Bleacher Report's Howard Beck. "Kobe was a chosen one—special in many ways to many people. Our relationship as coach/player transcended the norm. He went beyond the veil."
Bryant and Jackson won five NBA championships together with the Lakers, winning three straight from 2000-02 and two more in 2009 and ’10.
Jackson retired from coaching in 2011 while Bryant would play through the 2015-16 season.
Following the news of Bryant's death, tons of people from around the sports world paid their respects to Bryant. Among others include Magic Johnson, Michael Jordan, Shaquille O'Neal and President Barack Obama.
The Dallas Mavericks announced Sunday night that no player in the team's history will ever wear No. 24 again.
Bryant died suddenly earlier Sunday in a helicopter crash that killed nine people, including his daughter Gianna.
Orange Coast College baseball coach John Altobelli and Altobelli's daughter Alyssa and wife Keri were also aboard the helicopter and killed.
The 2020 Grammy Awards took place in the Staples Center Sunday night, and Host Alicia Keys framed the event by acknowledging Bryant's death in her opening remarks.
Earlier in the day, following the news of Bryant's sudden death, fans started gathering outside of the Staples Center to honor the late Lakers legend.
More Coverage of Kobe Bryant's Death:
- Kobe Bryant, Daughter Die in California Helicopter Crash
- For the Bryant Family, An Unimaginable Loss
- Kobe Bryant Left His Mark as a Generational Hero
- Sports World Reacts to Kobe Bryant's Sudden Death
- Remembering Kobe Bryant: Sports Illustrated Covers Through the Years
- Spurs-Raptors Open Game With Shot Clock Violations to Honor Kobe
- Shaq Reflects on Kobe's Passing: "There’s No Words to Express the Pain"