Brooklyn Nets star Kyrie Irving has consistently been very honest about what Los Angeles Lakers legend Kobe Bryant meant to him.
While Irving is undeniably one of the more polarizing players in league history, Bryant always served as his mentor no matter what.
Right around the anniversary of Bryant’s passing, Irving took a reflective stance on his old friend.
In a conversation with Brandon ‘Scoop B’ Robinson, Irving got very honest about missing Bryant.
Nets PG Kyrie Irving checked in with me last night & we discussed his mentor, Kobe Bryant.
— 👑 Brandon “Scoop B” Robinson (@ScoopB) January 26, 2023
“Kobe as a man was very inspirational, very loving, compassionate,” Irving said.
“Always had an open heart for those that want to follow his knowledge and wisdom. Always willing to pass on what he learned and I was just more than grateful we could have him as a mentor for as many years as I did.
“Shoutout to Vanessa and all the girls, they are strong so I have to be strong as well and we just want to carry his legacy forward. Him as a spirit is eternal. He’s everywhere right now and Gigi’s everywhere. So I’m grateful I got to learn from him as a man.”
Irving made it a point to focus on Bryant as a human being, as opposed to a basketball player.
“Him as a player I could go on and on all day,” Irving said.
“Shout out to Bean Bryant. I love you more than life itself and I miss you a lot. Praise up to you and Gigi.”
— Game 7 (@game7__) January 29, 2023
No matter what, Irving has always been very consistent in how much he loves Bryant.
Clearly nothing has changed.
For all his faults, the one thing no one can ever question is Irving’s commitment to Bryant’s legacy. This most recent interview is just further proof of that.
A longtime sports reporter, Carlos Garcia has written about some of the biggest and most notable athletic events of the last 5 years. He has been credentialed to cover MLS, NBA and MLB games all over the United States. His work has been published on Fox Sports, Bleacher Report, AOL and the Washington Post.