Tracy McGrady says that Kobe Bryant used to tell him early in his career that he wanted to 'die young' and be 'immortalized'
Former NBA star Tracy McGrady joined ESPN's Rachel Nichols on "The Jump" to share memories of his friend, Kobe Bryant. McGrady told Nichols that when Bryant was younger, he used to say he wanted to 'die young' and be 'immortalized,' but that that desire changed once he had children. McGrady also shared memories of Bryant's daughter Gianna, saying that she looked just as dominant as her father on the court.
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The NBA world was shocked on Sunday with the sudden death of Lakers legend Kobe Bryant, who passed away in a helicopter crash along with his 13-year-old daughter Gianna and seven others on board. Tracy McGrady joined ESPN's Rachel Nichols on the "The Jump" to share some of his memories of his close friend and NBA contemporary Kobe Bryant. McGrady entered the NBA one year after Bryant was drafted, joining Kobe as one of the few players to make the jump to the league immediately out of high school. In his conversation with Nichols, McGrady said that in their early days in the league, Bryant had said he wanted to die young. "It's crazy, but Kobe spoke this," McGrady said. "He used to say all the time, 'I wanna die young.'" "He used to say, 'I wanna die young. I wanna be immortalized. I want to have my career be better than Michael Jordan and I wanna die young.' And I just thought he was so crazy for saying that." "Hearing you say, 'Oh I wanna die young, I wanna be a legend.' That's totally in line with young Kobe," Nichols said. "But older Kobe, the Kobe that you and I spent the last year watching, the 40, 41-year-old Kobe, he wanted to be around for his family." McGrady agreed. "Clearly that statement was way before kids. Once he had kids, he didn't have that mindset."
Tracy McGrady was in tears recalling young Kobe's words:"I thought he was crazy. He used to say, 'I wanna die young. I wanna be immortalized.'" (via @Rachel__Nichols) pic.twitter.com/7XrVnde9TV — SportsCenter (@SportsCenter) January 27, 2020
McGrady also discussed some of his memories of Bryant's 13-year-old daughter Gianna, who also died in the crash. "She was special. She was built like Kobe, her mannerisms, everything. To watch her play was like watching a young Kobe. She had the moves. She had a fadeaway at 13 years old. I'm watching this girl, and she just looks like her dad out there, and just, 'Man she's gonna be special.'" "And she's not going to get that opportunity." You can watch McGrady's entire conversation with Nichols below.
Tributes and remembrances of Bryant poured in from former teammates, his NBA peers, and fans around the world as news of his death spread on Sunday. On the court, teams across the league took intentional 24-second shot clock violations to start their games, as a tribute to the no. 24 that Bryant wore through the latter half of his career. On Monday, the league announced that the game between the Lakers and Clippers scheduled for Tuesday night would be postponed out of respect to the Lakers organization as they take time to grieve.
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LeBron James posted an emotional tribute to the late Kobe Bryant on Instagram Monday night. Bryant...LeBron James posted an emotional tribute to the late Kobe Bryant on Instagram Monday night. Bryant and his 13-year-old daughter died along with seven others in a tragic helicopter accident Sunday morning, mere hours after James passed the Los Angeles Lakers legend for third on the NBA's all-time scoring list. The Black Mamba's final tweet was was a congratulatory note to James for the impressive feat. According to The Athletic's Shams Charania, James and Bryant spoke on the phone Saturday night after the Lakers' game in Philadelphia. Visit Business Insider's homepage for more stories. NBA icon Kobe Bryant, his 13-year-old daughter, Gianna "Gigi" Bryant, and seven others died in a tragic helicopter accident Sunday morning, mere hours after LeBron James passed the Los Angeles Lakers legend for third on the NBA's all-time scoring list. After more than 24 hours of silence from the four-time NBA MVP, James posted an emotional tribute to the Black Mamba on his Instagram page late Monday night. "I'm Not Ready but here I go," James' post began. "Man I sitting here trying to write something for this post but every time I try I begin crying again just thinking about you, niece Gigi and the friendship/bond/brotherhood we had! I literally just heard your voice Sunday morning before I left Philly to head back to LA. Didn't think for one bit in a million years that would be the last conversation we'd have. WTF!! I'm heartbroken and devastated my brother!!" I’m Not Ready but here I go. Man I sitting here trying to write something for this post but every time I try I begin crying again just thinking about you, niece Gigi and the friendship/bond/brotherhood we had! I literally just heard your voice Sunday morning before I left Philly to head back to LA. Didn’t think for one bit in a million years that would be the last conversation we’d have. WTF!! I’m heartbroken and devastated my brother!! 😢😢😢😢💔. Man I love you big bro. My heart goes to Vanessa and the kids. I promise you I’ll continue your legacy man! You mean so much to us all here especially #LakerNation💜💛 and it’s my responsibility to put this shit on my back and keep it going!! Please give me the strength from the heavens above and watch over me! I got US here! There’s so much more I want to say but just can’t right now because I can’t get through it! Until we meet again my brother!! #Mamba4Life❤️🙏🏾 #Gigi4Life❤️🙏🏾 A post shared by LeBron James (@kingjames) on Jan 27, 2020 at 6:43pm PST on Jan 27, 2020 at 6:43pm PST "Man I love you big bro. My heart goes to Vanessa and the kids. I promise you I'll continue your legacy man! You mean so much to us all here especially #LakerNation💜💛 and it's my responsibility to put this shit on my back and keep it going!! Please give me the strength from the heavens above and watch over me! I got US here! There's so much more I want to say but just can't right now because I can't get through it! Until we meet again my brother!! #Mamba4Life❤️🙏🏾 #Gigi4Life❤️🙏🏾" In addition to penning the heartfelt post, James changed his Instagram profile photo to a snap of Bryant and Gigi celebrating one of the Black Mamba's five NBA championships. After James recorded 29 points against the Philadelphia 76ers Saturday to pass him in career points, Bryant dedicated his final tweet to congratulating King James for the impressive feat. Continuing to move the game forward @KingJames. Much respect my brother 💪🏾 #33644 — Kobe Bryant (@kobebryant) January 26, 2020 And some time after the game concluded, Bryant and James spoke on the phone one last time, per The Athletic's Shams Charania. One final conversation: LeBron James and Kobe Bryant had phone call late Saturday night after James passed Bryant on the NBA scoring charts, sources tell @TheAthleticNBA @Stadium. Several Lakers players listened into call -- in what would be their final memory of Bryant's voice. — Shams Charania (@ShamsCharania) January 27, 2020 Shortly after Bryant was confirmed dead in Sunday's helicopter accident, James was spotted grieving after his team's plane touched down in California. An 18-time NBA All-Star and five-time NBA champion, Bryant was widely considered one of the most accomplished players in the history of the game. He is survived by his wife, Vanessa, and three daughters. Read more: UConn Huskies pay tribute to the late Gigi Bryant during an emotional matchup against the US Women's National Team Time will honor the late Kobe Bryant with a cover featuring his final bow Kobe Bryant started using helicopters as a player as a way to maintain his body and spend more time with his family Photos of Kobe and Gigi Bryant show how the father-daughter duo shared a deep love for the game of basketball Join the conversation about this story » NOW WATCH: 5 things about the NFL that football fans may not know
Kobe Bryant and his 13-year-old daughter, Gianna, died Sunday in a helicopter crash in Calabasas, California. ...Kobe Bryant and his 13-year-old daughter, Gianna, died Sunday in a helicopter crash in Calabasas, California. Fans gathered at the Staples Center in Los Angeles Sunday to pay respects to the former Los Angeles Lakers star. Bryant's two retired Lakers jerseys are lit up inside the Staples Center in his honor during the 62nd annual Grammys. Visit Insider's homepage for more stories. Kobe Bryant's retired Los Angeles Lakers jerseys are lit up and on display inside the Staples Center at the Grammys on Sunday evening in Los Angeles. The 41-year-old basketball icon died Sunday in a helicopter crash in Calabasas, California. Both Entertainment Weekly's Sarah Rodman and The Hollywood Reporter's Kirsten Chuba shared photos on Twitter from inside the Staples Center, where the 62nd annual Grammys took place on Sunday night. Inside Staples now. Kobe's retired jerseys uncovered and lit in his honor. #GRAMMYs pic.twitter.com/d0HSbDuAc4 — Sarah Rodman (@SarahARodman) January 27, 2020 Through Bryant's 20-year basketball career from 1996 to 2016, the shooting guard wore the numbers eight and 24. Here's a high-res photo of the jerseys hanging inside the center: The jerseys can be seen lit up above section 307 of the Staples Center as guests were getting seated at the 2020 Grammys. Ahead of the Grammys, fans gathered outside the Staples Center, the home of the Los Angeles Lakers, to pay their respects to Bryant. Bryant's face was seen on the monitors outside the Staples Center and fans crowded around a makeshift memorial with flowers, candles, and drawings of the basketball player. The 62nd annual Grammys opened with tributes to Bryant from Lizzo, host Alicia Keys, and Boyz II Men. More are planned throughout the evening. In a press conference Sunday afternoon, Los Angeles sheriff Alex Villanueva said a total of nine people died in the helicopter crash that killed Bryant. His 13-year-old daughter, Gianna, was among the passengers on board. According to TMZ, Bryant and his daughter were heading to a basketball practice at the Mamba Academy in Thousand Oaks, California. Read more: The sports world is reacting to the sudden and tragic death of Lakers legend Kobe BryantKobe Bryant says there are WNBA stars who 'could most certainly keep up' in the NBAPhotos and videos show makeshift Kobe Bryant memorials where fans are mourning the basketball legend who was killed in a helicopter crash on Sunday Join the conversation about this story » NOW WATCH: Stop using champagne flutes — this is the best way to drink champagne