Everybody knows Kobe Bryant as one of the greatest athletes of all time and one of the most accomplished players in NBA history.
But those who got to know him personally and deeply know that he was way more than that.
On the court, he was as competitive as you'd imagine. Off it, he was actually a pretty easy-going, caring, loving man.
At least, that's what his former teammate Gary Payton thought of him. In a recent interview, he talked about the other side of Kobe not many people knew. (23:43)
“I got to know him as a person. As a young man," Payton said. “Off the court, I was the sweetest guy, but Kobe was the same guy. And people didn’t know that. And they didn’t get to know it. But they were about to get to know it."
Payton also said that Kobe was determined to take over women's basketball and help it grown and develop, hoping his daughter Gigi would have the same success he had:
"He had just taken over women’s basketball and he was gonna take over women’s basketball with his daughter Gigi, and it just couldn’t be. Right now, I think, it would have been a big difference in girl’s basketball right now as Kobe would have took over. He would have everything going over right now, programs everything. He was just about to start all this, and people didn’t just know it," Payton added.
Kobe's death still doesn't feel real. He was so young and still had a lot to give the world, and I'm not just talking about basketball.
As for her daughter, those who knew her and got to watch her play were sure that she was going to be a superstar. Hopefully, someone will try and lead change in the WNBA and help them become a more lucrative product like the NBA, just like Kobe wanted. They were gone too son, but will never be forgotten.