Dwyane Wade, like so many other players, was in disbelief on Sunday upon learning that NBA legend Kobe Bryant had died in a helicopter crash.
Nooooooooooo God please No!— DWade (@DwyaneWade) January 26, 2020
Though they were never teammates — Wade played almost exclusively for the Miami Heat during his 16 year career in the league, except for brief stops with the Chicago Bulls and Cleveland Cavaliers — Wade knew Bryant well.
The news that he, along with eight others — including his 13-year-old daughter Gianna — had died in the crash outside of Los Angeles hit Wade hard.
"It's like a bad dream."— Yahoo Sports NBA (@YahooSportsNBA) January 27, 2020
Dwyane Wade reacts to Kobe Bryant's death. pic.twitter.com/AgWh3dQnkm
“It’s like a bad dream that you just want to wake up from. It’s a nightmare,” Wade said in a series of videos posted to his Instagram story. “I know we all feel the same way about such a great leader, a great champion, a great person. If you got the chance to know Kobe, got the chance to really know Kobe, ain’t nobody better man. Emotions are all over the place. These are the moments when you ask, ‘Why?’”
Wade added an old video clip of Bryant talking about him during a media conference and photos of Bryant to his story, too, before jumping back on.
“My heart, thoughts goes out to Kobe’s family, his daughter Gigi. It’s a sad day. There’s no way around it,” Wade said. “My family and I have been sharing Kobe stories. We have so many moments that he’s given us. We’re so thankful for those moments. I’m thankful for those moments man. He’s one of my favorite players. I got the chance to have a relationship, a friendship, and I’m going to miss him. I’m going to miss the friendship. I’ve said it many times, when Kobe retired from the game of basketball, he left a hole in my wanting to play. When I came in the league, I chased him. That’s who I chased. I wanted to be respected by him. Once I reached that level, I knew I did something.”
Wade then addressed Bryant directly.
“Kobe, thank you man,” he said. “Thank you for all the memories. We’ve got a lot of good ones. These tears that we’re crying, we’re going to miss you. It’s not going to go. It’s not leaving today, a week from now, a month from now, a year for now. We will forever, forever miss you man. You’re a legend. You’re an icon. You’re a father. You’re a husband. You’re a son. You’re a brother. You’re a friend. Thank you for being my friend. I love you brother.”
Heroes come and go LEGENDS live forever‼️ #8 #24 pic.twitter.com/sYMG8CKN5b— DWade (@DwyaneWade) January 27, 2020
Lamar Odom: ‘He taught me so many things in life’
Just like Wade, Lamar Odom considered Bryant a brother.
Odom, who played in the league from 1999-2013, played with Bryant on the Lakers for seven seasons from 2004-2011.
While the news hit him hard too — Odom said he “couldn’t even catch my breath today” after learning that Bryant had died, and that he expected him to have “jumped out and landed on his feet” — he couldn’t help but reminisce about some of the things Bryant taught him.
“He taught me so many things in life that were necessary on and off the court,” Odom wrote, in part. “On the court he taught me how to carve out defenses and how to take my time. How to make winning my ultimate goal. Off the court he taught me to sign my own checks lol.
“Of course anyone who knows my story knows I’ve suffered a lot of loss, but the only loss I can compare this to is when I lost my son. Even though our relationship wasn’t father/son, it was more like him being a teacher and me being his brother. I’m glad I got to be the ying to your yang as far as the locker room was concerned. It was my pleasure … In honor of my brother I’m up at 4 a.m. tomorrow to get to the gym! Gigi gone give you buckets!!!! I love you brother.”
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