NBA legend Kobe Bryant, his daughter Gianna and seven others lost their lives during a helicopter crash on Sunday. The world poured in their love for the lives lost, devastated by the sudden tragedy. Many NBA players like LeBron James, Shaquille O'Neal, Luka Doncic and Michael Jordan paid their tributes to Bryant.
Kevin Durant opened up about Kobe Bryant's death after the Brooklyn Nets practice session on Tuesday (Wednesday IST). Durant revealed that it is difficult to talk about Bryant. Kevin Durant, who grew up watching Kobe Bryant play basketball, shared a lot of childhood stories.
Kevin Durant is speaking to reporters about Kobe now: “It is hard to comprehend all of this. Just having those moments with Kobe, it was always about pressing forward and at this time it is so hard to so. It is hard to keep going right now... I know we are all just mourning.”— Malika Andrews (@malika_andrews) January 28, 2020
Kevin Durant considers himself lucky that he learnt from Bryant directly. According to Durant, Bryant's lessons were short but effective. He taught Kevin Durant to focus on his goals, a lesson that Durant followed. Kevin Durant also learnt about overcoming the Achilles heel injury from Bryant, something that Bryant also suffered from in 2013. Following Bryant's advice, the Nets player won two Finals MVPs, one NBA MVP and two NBA titles with the Golden State Warriors.
Kevin Durant on Kobe Bryant: “I never wanted to be like Kobe, but I always wanted that laser focus — that nothing was getting in the way of what I wanted to do out there on the floor.— Kristian Winfield (@Krisplashed) January 28, 2020
“And that’s what I think the Mamba Mentality was for him.” pic.twitter.com/HDxfC34e80
Durant also played against the Lakers in 2010 during the playoffs. He added that when Bryant was on the opposition, a young player he advised also became an enemy during the game. Durant also pointed out that even if one was not close to Bryant, his whole life could be used as an inspiration. Kevin Durant thinks that from Bryant's rapping to crying on TV, the world has seen everything and he is glad that he saw him play during his peak.
Kobe Bryant played with the Lakers for two decades, starting as an 18-year-old rookie in 1996. Bryant retired in 2016 third on the all-time NBA scoring list. He had five NBA championships to his name, winning NBA MVP in 2008. Bryant had a career average of 25 points, 5.2 rebounds and 4.7 assists per game. Kobe Bryant even paired up with LeBron James for the Olympics, winning the country two gold medals in 2008 and 2012 respectively.