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Aaron Rodgers Writes That He Is 'Grateful' For Kobe Bryant In A Touching Post

Gettyimages | Quinn Harris
By Clark Sparky

Kobe Bryant was an inspiration to athletes well beyond just the hardwood of the basketball court. Green Bay Packers quarterback Aaron Rodgers made that clear with a touching Instagram tribute to the late Lakers legend on Monday following his tragic death in a helicopter crash on Sunday.

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Rodgers posted a photo of him and Bryant together and captioned it, "So many of us have our 'Kobe' story; an inspirational moment, play, game, or tale of his work ethic, that inspired us to dig deeper, work harder, train longer, or trust ourselves at a new level in a clutch moment. That was that #mambamentality and we are all grateful for your inspiration."

"Two of the greatest to ever do it in their respected sports. Such a shame man," one fan responded.

"MVP on the court and in our hearts! RIP legend. You will be greatly missed but never forgotten!" another wrote.

"Was always a classic act! Truely a huge inspiration and role model. I just want to wake up from the bad dream. RIP MAMBA," a third replied.

Tributes have poured in from the basketball community, as well.

Michael Jordan released a statement about the news on Sunday:

"I am in shock over the tragic news of Kobe's and Gianna's passing. Words can't describe the pain I'm feeling. I loved Kobe - he was like a little brother to me. We used to talk often, and I will miss those conversations very much.

"He was a fierce competitor, one of the greats of the game and a creative force. Kobe was also an amazing dad who loved his family deeply - and took great pride in his daughter's love for the game of basketball. Yvette joins me in sending my deepest condolences to Vanessa, the Lakers organization and basketball fans around the world."

Giphy | SHOWTIME Sports

NBA commissioner Adam Silver also released a statement on behalf of the league:

"The NBA family is devastated by the tragic passing of Kobe Bryant and his daughter, Gianna. For 20 seasons, Kobe showed us what is possible when remarkable talent blends with an absolute devotion to winning. He was one of the most extraordinary players in the history of our game with accomplishments that are legendary: five NBA championships, an NBA MVP award, 18 NBA All-Star selections, and two Olympic gold medals."

He continued:

But he will be remembered most for inspiring people around the world to pick up a basketball and compete to the very best of their ability. He was generous with the wisdom he acquired and saw it as his mission to share it with future generations of players, taking special delight in passing down his love of the game to Gianna. We send our heartfelt condolences to his wife, Vanessa, and their family, the Lakers organization and the entire sports world."

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