Following Kobe Bryant’s tragic death, reports suggesting Kawhi Leonard had flown with the same pilot that Kobe used for his trips saw the light. Even though some thought that was a lie, Leonard has confirmed he actually flew with the pilot, named Ara Zobayan, on various occasions.
Leonard confirmed he had flown with Zobayan, remembering how friendly the pilot was and explaining what kind of customers he had.
“Flown with him a lot. Great guy, super nice, he was one of their best pilots,” Leonard is quoted by USA Today as he told reporters. “That’s a guy who you ask for to fly you from city to city. It’s just surreal still for me. He'll drop me off and say he's about to pick up Kobe. ... He'll be like, 'I just dropped Kobe off, he said, 'Hello' ' and vice versa. It's just a crazy interaction. He’s a good dude. I'm sorry for everybody.”
Moreover, when he had to talk about Kobe, Kawhi said he couldn’t sum up their conversations in a sentence.
“Just everything he did,” Leonard told reporters. “I’m a guy who talked to Kobe last year before the season and right after we won [the NBA title] in the locker room. … I worked out with him before I went to Toronto, and he was probably the first or second guy we talked to, other than our teammates and family, after we won in the locker room. It’s just that motivation.
"I thought about him every game. He was a sense of a drive for me last year just trying to win that championship.”
Leonard was another pupil of Kobe and you can tell by seeing the huge improvement he made on the offensive end of the floor. Kobe lost his life in a helicopter crash on Sunday along with other eight people, including his daughter Gianna.
Just like LeBron and Kyrie and the rest of the players, Leonard will try to continue Kobe’s legacy at all costs.