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Russell Westbrook Posts Emotional Tribute To Kobe Bryant: 'He Became A Friend, A Brother, A Mentor, A Teacher, He Defended Me, He Believed In Me, And He Taught Me How To Weather The Storm'

Credit: Getty Images

Credit: Getty Images

NBA players keep paying their respect to Kobe Bryant after his devastating death. Houston Rockets star Russell Westbrook is the latest to show his love to Kobe, who he considered a mentor.

With an Instagram post, Russ remembered Kobe and his daughter Gianna, who also passed in a helicopter crash last Sunday. Westbrook thanked Bryant for his help, for being a mentor to him and a friend.

“I’ve been stuck and not really knowing how to put all that I’ve been feeling into words over the past several days. I am devastated about the passing of Kobe & Gigi, on every level. I met Kobe when I was 16 at UCLA playing against him in a pick up game. He played like it was the NBA finals. From that point on, I decided that I wanted to emulate his Mamba mentality. At the time, there was no name for it, but I recognized in him what I always felt in myself. He became a friend, a brother, a mentor, a teacher, he defended me, he believed in me, and he taught me how to weather the storm. I can go on and on, but I want to thank you for being my idol, & inspiration. I will pray for you and your family everyday just as I do my own. I love you Kobe. My heart and prayers also go out to the other families involved in last weeks accident. #RIPKobe #RIPGigi,” Westbrook wrote.

There is no doubt that his loss is painful, it’s very tragic, but Kobe will always be among us with his records, his philosophy and all the happiness and joy he brought to every NBA fan. The impact he made on players is something that words can’t describe and Westbrook’s tribute only confirms that.