Following the news of Kobe Bryant’s death, Giannis Antetokounmpo ghosted the world.
In what seems like an attempt to grief alone, the Greek Freak deleted all of his social media in the hours after the chopper crash that claimed nine victims in Southern California.
In the past, Giannis has actually said that Kobe is the reason he plays ball today.
Giannis said Kobe is a reason why he plays the game. Watched Kobe growing up pic.twitter.com/E72MoOC3vH
— Lori Nickel (@LoriNickel) January 27, 2020
The feelings of respect and admiration were mutual. Last year, when Bryant spoke to Frank Isola of The Athletic about Giannis, it was all positive.
“Giannis came to work out with me this summer and he showed up one-and-a-half hours early,” Kobe Bryant told Frank Isola of The Athletic. “We talked for 20 minutes before we worked out and he whips out a notepad. What the … he starts taking down notes. ‘What about the footwork here? What about the coverage here?’ And he’s writing them down. After practice same thing; he sits down, and we talked for like an hour.”
Giannis has yet to make a public appearance since the accident. He has stayed away from the spotlight, seemingly to spend some time thinking things over and mourning the death of a friend.
Their relationship was clearly one that went beyond basketball. He was a mentor to Giannis and one that will be sorely missed.