Former NBA star Tracy McGrady joined the ESPN’s show “The Jump” this week to talk about Kobe Bryant, and he admitted that this week was especially hard for him. He said that he and Bryant were supposed to coach a youth basketball tournament together this week in Las Vegas.
“I just had a moment on the sidelines yesterday,” McGrady said. “Knowing that this weekend he was never going to walk through that door. It was hard for me to really accept that my friend is gone and I won’t get the opportunity to him coach his girls.
“Just the love I see on his face every time I was around him during those moments,” he added. “It was the best and the happiest I’ve seen Kobe in his life.”
Fans were quick to sympathize with McGrady.
“Yes it’s very hard to accept this I mean it still feels like he’s still alive. It’s gonna take a long long time to heal. It’s hard,” one wrote.
“Kobe’s death made me not take life for granted cause life is too short we gotta enjoy it while we got it,” another added.
“We all feel the same way as you T Mac. its been almost a month since the tragedy happened, yet still, it’s hard to believe that Kobe and Gigi are no longer here. The fact we talk about them in the past tense now is just sad. Honestly wish this was a bad nightmare we can wake up from and be able to see Kobe give his rightful hall of fame speech with Gigi by his side but unfortunately we never will,” a third said.
No one is mourning their loss more than Kobe’s wife, Vanessa. She spoke bravely and beautifully at the celebration of life ceremony.
“Gianna Bryant is an amazingly sweet and gentle soul,” Vanessa said. “She was always thoughtful. She always kissed me goodnight and kissed me good morning. There were a few occasions where I was absolutely tired from being up with Bianka and Capri and I thought she had left for school without saying goodbye. I text and say ‘No kiss?’ and Gianna would reply with, ‘Mama, I kissed you but you were asleep and I didn’t want to wake you.’
“She knew how much her morning and evening kisses meant to me. She was so thoughtful to remember to kiss me every day,” she continued. “She was Daddy’s girl but I know she loved her mama. She would always tell me and show me how much she loved me. She was one of my very best friends. She loved faith, she loved putting a smile on everyone’s faces.”
“I couldn’t see him as a celebrity, nor as an incredible basketball player. He was my sweet husband and the beautiful father of our children. He was mine. He was my everything,” Vanessa said about Bryant. “… He would do anything for me. I have no idea how I deserved a man that loved and wanted me more than Kobe. He was charismatic, a gentleman. He was loving, adoring and romantic.”