Saints Pro Bowl Players react to Kobe Bryant's Death
Kyle T. Mosley
Kobe. NBA Champion. The Black Mamba. Legend.
Surreal. Uncertain how to feel. Sadden.
I watched Kobe on his draft night, full of excitement and later traded to a legendary franchise. A franchise that he restored to prominence in the NBA, not once, but twice. I observed how he evolved as a professional basketball player. The losses, wins, and championship triumphs. How he handled controversy and conflict, his personal trials and tribulations, and recent smooth transition into retirement. Now, Kobe is gone.
Kobe Bean Bryant was an icon. Not only to NBA fans, but to fans of various sports across the world. His desire to win is revered by many. His passion, tenacity, and fierce competitive spirit was legendary. Today his legacy will be remembered and people will mourn the passing of one of the greatest sports figures in history.
We cannot forget he was a man. But most of all, a family man. Kobe leaves a family left to journey the world without him as a husband, father, son, friend and loved one. Kobe Bryant, his beautiful daughter Gianna "Gigi" Maria-Onore Bryant, and several passengers in a Sikorsky S-76 helicopter were killed after crashing in Calabasas, California on Sunday morning. The world is in shock. We are still processing the tragic loss of the person, Kobe Bryant.
SAINTS ON KOBE
News of his death had an immediate impact on NBA fans. Perhaps it was the response from fans and players of other sports that resonated how important Kobe was in the world. Especially, members of the New Orleans Saints. 10 Saints players were about to take the field and play in the 2020 NFL Pro Bowl in Orlando, Florida when they received word of his death in the NFC's locker room. The players were emotional and sadden of the news. According to the ESPN/ABC reporters covering the game, Seattle Seahawks QB Russell Wilson gathered the players together to pray for the Bryant family.
Here are some of the sentiments share by New Orleans Saints players on the future NBA Hall of Famer's death:
"He inspired so many people," Drew Brees
The Saints WR spoke with The Advocate/NOLA reporter Amie Just and said,
"I just feel like it's a shocker right now," Thomas said. "It hasn't really settled in. We were pretty much talking about that the whole game on the sideline. Everyone looks up to him. For me being from LA, watching him growing up and knowing his story and reading his books, it's definitely a sad time right now." The Advocate/NOLA.com
SAINTS PLAYERS AT THE PRO BOWL
The Pelicans were preparing to face the Boston Celtics in a Sunday afternoon contest. The organization held a 24 second moment of silence in honor of Kobe Bryant.
The victims of the helicopter accident were: Kobe Bryant, Gianna Bryant, John Altobelli, Keri Altobelli, Alyssa Altobelli, Christina Mauser, Sarah Chester, Payton Chester, and the pilot Ara Zobayan.
Bryant is survived by his wife Vanessa and three children Natalia Diamante, Bianka Bella, and Capri Kobe Bryant.
Condolences to the entire Bryant family.
Saints News Network will provide extended coverage of Kobe's passing as details emerge.