The NBA All-Star Weekend was full of touching tributes to Kobe Bryant, who died last month in a tragic helicopter accident. Among those who shared their thoughts on Bryant's life and legacy was his former Lakers teammate Rick Fox.
"Nothing like tragedy to stop you in your tracks," Fox told TMZ. "That was a big blow to me personally, it was a big blow to a lot of people globally. I can speak for how it impacted me, but I got to watch how it impacted the world, and that's a tribute to his legacy. It's a tribute to how he lived his life in his retirement, being a mentor and spreading his gifts and his skills and his knowledge to others and that's what he was really focused on. I'm so proud to have been not only a teammate, but friend."
"It was way bigger than basketball," he added. "I'm proud to have known him for that. The world doesn't respond the way that it does for just someone that's played a game and entertained us. His legacy is beyond that and it shows."
Fox was asked about his favorite Bryant memories and said many of them are private. "A lot of them come with him sharing some of his early visions for his career," he said. "He would bounce them off of me in the back of the bus heading to the airport after a game or on the plane, and they always seemed to be so out of worldly, yet I spent the next 20 years watching him come up with some, in some cases surpassing them."
Kobe's wife, Vanessa, opened up about how she is dealing with the loss of her husband and their daughter, Gianna, in a post last week.
Verified I’ve been reluctant to put my feelings into words. My brain refuses to accept that both Kobe and Gigi are gone. I can’t process both at the same time. It’s like I’m trying to process Kobe being gone but my body refuses to accept my Gigi will never come back to me. It feels wrong. Why should I be able to wake up another day when my baby girl isn’t being able to have that opportunity?! I’m so mad. She had so much life to live.
Then I realize I need to be strong and be here for my 3 daughters. Mad I’m not with Kobe and Gigi but thankful I’m here with Natalia, Bianka and Capri. I know what I’m feeling is normal. It’s part of the grieving process. I just wanted to share in case there’s anyone out there that’s experienced a loss like this. God I wish they were here and this nightmare would be over. Praying for all of the victims of this horrible tragedy. Please continue to pray for all.