NBA legend Kobe Bryant passed away on Sunday night (Monday morning IST) in a helicopter crash in Calabasas, 48 km north-west of Los Angeles. The 41-year-old was travelling on his private chopper along with 8 other people when it went down and a fire broke out, killing Kobe and his daughter. The Lakers legend was a huge football fan and admired Barcelona star Lionel Messi. He also lauded Cristiano Ronaldo as one of the best.
Less than two weeks before his death in a helicopter crash, NBA legend Kobe Bryant spoke with CNN about the MLS, Leo Messi and how there are women who could play in the NBA "right now" https://t.co/kmv7KpbZtV pic.twitter.com/421aFaY3hU— CNN (@CNN) January 27, 2020
Just two weeks back, Kobe Bryant (while speaking to CNN) had commented on Major League Soccer (MLS). He stated that the league had grown big in the past few years. He was also quizzed about his love for LaLiga giants Barcelona and their star Lionel Messi.
So sad to hear the heartbreaking news of the deaths of Kobe and his daughter Gianna. Kobe was a true legend and inspiration to so many. Sending my condolences to his family and friends and the families of all who lost their lives in the crash. RIP Legend💔 pic.twitter.com/qKb3oiDHxH— Cristiano Ronaldo (@Cristiano) January 26, 2020
Kobe had lauded Lionel Messi as one of the best footballers of all time. He also praised the skills and the intelligence that the Argentine possesses. He stated that Messi was ‘head-and-shoulders’ above other contemporary football stars. The Los Angeles legend did not shy away from praising Juventus star and Lionel Messi’s arch-rival Cristiano Ronaldo.
Kobe Bryant also spoke about the recent troubles at FC Barcelona due to a string of poor performances. He had stated that Barcelona were going through a transition period, courtesy of the recent sacking of manager Ernesto Valverde. However, he was confident of the team’s resurgence.
Kobe Bryant dominated the game for almost two decades with the Los Angeles Lakers. He won five championships and featured in 18 All-Star Games. The legend announced his retirement following the 2016 season. Kobe Bryant was also one of the favourites to be inducted into the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame set to be announced next month.