Former NBA star Mutombo remembers Kobe Bryant

Doha, Qatar – NBA hall of famer Dikembe Mutombo remained in Milan, Italy when he heard the news.

” My phone sounded. It was the league (NBA) workplace. They stated something has actually occurred with Kobe . there was a helicopter crash, however we do not understand if there are survivors. [Later] the NBA security informed me.”


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Speaking With Al Jazeera, the eight-time NBA All-Star stated he was heartbroken when it was validated that former Los Angeles Lakers super star Kobe Bryant was eliminated in addition to his 13- year-old child Gianna, and 7 others in a helicopter crash in California on Sunday.

“It’s still very difficult for me to accept (his death) . It’s a very sad month, sad week for the NBA to lose one of the greatest basketball players that ever played our game; to lose a father, to lose a man that was a great husband, a great coach, great team-mate, mentor for young people.”

“I’m crying more also for his daughter, Gigi. She didn’t have to die. And also all those (other) loved ones who perished.”

Mutombo was born in the Democratic Republic of the Congo and relocated to the United Statesin 1987 to study at Georgetown University, where he used up the sport at the advising of the university’s basketballcoach He was chosen in the 1991 NBA draft, playing in the league till 2009 and he now represents the NBA as a global ambassador.

Mutombo states Bryant’& rsquo; s tradition works out beyond basketball[Sorin Furcoi/Al Jazeera]

Mutombo rememberedBryant as an intense rival on the wood, having actually faced him a number of times, consisting of at the NBA finals.

“There were many times that I went to the battlefield against him . He was the ‘Mamba’. Someone who played the game with determination, (no) fear, and wanted to dominate every one of the opponents that were in front of him. He didn’t fear nobody.”

Bryant and his Lakers beat Mutombo’s Philadelphia 76 ers 4 games to one to catch the NBA championship in2001 It was Bryant’s second NBA title. He would go on to win 3 more champions, all with the Los Angeles Lakers.

Mutombo, who is extensively considered among the best protective players of perpetuity, likewise thought back about how thoughtful Bryant was off the court, in spite of his competitive nature.

“I broke my NBA record on shot-blocking (while playing) against the Lakers. After the game, he came and gave me a hug and congratulated me for passing Kareem Abdul-Jabbar.”

Mutombo states Bryant’& rsquo; s tradition works out beyond basketball.

“He was one of the greatest that ever played this game. But it’s more about the footprint he left behind, the impact. His impact on the game and the world; he will be judged on that.”

In the interview with Al Jazeera, Mutombo straight resolved Bryant’& rsquo; sfamily

“I just want to send my condolences and my sympathy to the Bryant family, especially to Vanessa, his lovely wife and his three beautiful girls. I feel your pain. Our prayer goes to you guys, for what you’re going through. To Kobe’s family, to his father, mother and sisters, I know you lost someone very special, you lost your child,” he stated.

“We are praying for you, may God be with you guys, keep you guys strong for these big losses you just suffered.”

DikembeMutombo was sad when it was validated thatKobeBryant was eliminated in addition to his13- year-old child Gianna, and 7 others in a helicopter crash [Sorin Furcoi/Al Jazeera]

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