Many who were unable to attend have been posting their tributes on social media. Tom Brady is among them.
"I have been deeply affected by the passing of Kobe, Gigi and the others in that tragic flight weeks ago," Brady wrote in a Twitter statement Tuesday. "Since then, I've witnessed the well deserved outpouring of love and support for the families that had so much left to give, and it's helped me reflect and gain perspective."
"He was the real life superhero our world needs," Brady wrote. "That's what we will all miss. That's why we hurt. Because we know that he was always fighting against the norm. He was doing more th[a]n his share. Now who is going to do the work that is still here to be done? Who is going to fight and break the norms with love and joy and inspiration?"
Bryant was invited by coach Bill Belichick to the Patriots' facility in 2018 to impart some wisdom.
Brady was not present, but at least one Patriots player could immediately discern the parallels between Kobe—who spent 20 years with one team—and Brady, who had spent 19 straight seasons with New England at that point in time.
"When [Kobe] was telling us about his training regimen, how he approached a day, a light bulb went off in my head: That’s Tom," Patriots safety Duron Harmon told Sports Illustrated's Albert Breer after Bryant's visit. "You realize it’s no coincidence. That’s the reason why Kobe Bryant is Kobe Bryant. That’s the reason why Tom Brady is Tom Brady.”
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