Kobe Bryant remembered by San Antonio Spurs coach Gregg Popovich

LeBron James, Anthony Davis learned valuable lessons from Kobe Bryant



LOS ANGELES — Kobe Bryant often frustrated San Antonio Spurs coach Gregg Popovich with the acrobatic shots he made at his expense. Bryant often inspired Popovich with his work ethic. And Bryant often made Popovich think when they talked privately about basketball. 

“He was like a superhero who was actually human,” Popovich said. “There aren’t really any superheroes that are really human. But we kind of thought of him as one of those kinds of people.”

Recently, the public has also thought of Bryant as a tragic figure. Bryant, his 13-year-old daughter, Gianna, and seven others died last week in a helicopter crash.

“The tragedy for the Bryant family and all the other people is something we all learn to live with,” said Popovich, whose wife, Erin, died two years ago. “Everybody does the best they can to get through it. I can only wish for them that process is as peaceful as possible. It’s really, really tough.”

Kobe Bryant and Gregg Popovich greet each other after a 2016 game.

The Lakers have handled the grieving process in various ways. 

Before playing Portland last week in what marked the team’s first game at Staples Center since Bryant’s passing – following the postponement of a game against the Clippers – the Lakers honored Bryant in different ways. Usher sang “Amazing Grace,” while Ben Hong played the cello. Following a Bryant video tribute, LeBron James spoke to the crowd about the player who helped the Lakers win five NBA championships.  


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