The sudden death of Kobe Bryant produced a wave of shock throughout the sports world. On Monday, one of Bryant's biggest competitors, Tracy McGrady, was brought to tears discussing his legacy on ESPN's "The Jump."
"I'm devastated, just like everybody else," McGrady said.
The seven-time All-Star went on to relay a haunting story about Bryant.
“This sounds crazy, but Kobe spoke this, he spoke this,” the 40-year-old retiree told ESPN's Rachel Nichols.
“He used to say all the time, ‘I want to die young,’” he added.
Bryant, according to McGrady, would also say, ”‘I want to be immortalized and, you know, have my career be better than Michael Jordan and I want to die young.’”
Among the countless other tributes, a handful of Laker greats have shared their thoughts about Bryant. Magic Johnson called him "the greatest Laker of all-time." Shaquille O'Neal said that there were "no words to express the pain" he was feeling. Phil Jackson said that Bryant "transcended the norm," and Kareem Abdul-Jabbar said he was "much more than an athlete."
Bryant's former teammate, Lamar Odom, shared his own touching tribute to Bryant, writing, "No way God took my brother this early.”
Bryant died Sunday in a helicopter crash in Calabasas, Calif. He was 41.
Bryant's 13-year-old daughter Gianna was also with him when the helicopter crashed, according to ESPN's Adrian Wojnarowski. LA County Sheriff Alex Villanueva told reporters that nine people were aboard the aircraft—the pilot plus eight others.
The helicopter went down in the hills of Calabasas and a fire broke out. The crash occurred around 10 a.m. local time and the fire made it difficult for firefighters and emergency personnel to get to the aircraft, according to the city of Calabasas. Nobody on the ground was hurt.
The Lakers have not played since Bryant's death. The NBA announced Monday evening that Tuesday night's game against the Clippers would be postponed and rescheduled for a later date.
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"