Lakers GM Rob Pelinka releases statement about Kobe Bryant’s death

How Lakers are coping with loss of an NBA icon

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Rob Pelinka paid homage to his best friend Kobe Bryant in a statement released Thursday.

Pelinka, the general manager of the Los Angeles Lakers, also was Bryant’s agent during most of his 20-year NBA career, all with the Lakers.

“There has been an amputation of part of my soul,” Pelinka wrote. “He was, simply put, the most inspirational athlete of our time. What the world may not know, is that he was also the best friend anyone could ever imagine.”

He recounted what it was like to be Bryant’s best friend and the inspiration he drew from him. He also remembered 13-year-old Gianna Bryant, also a victim in the helicopter crash that killed her father and seven others on Sunday. Pelinka confirmed the news of Gianna’s upcoming birth to the public when he served as Bryant’s agent.

“She was also an extraordinary, loyal and supportive sister, and a wonderful friend to my children. My son and daughter always left time with Gigi feeling better about life itself,” Pelinka wrote.



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