It seems almost unreal to think that a little over a month ago we lost one of the greatest basketball players of all time, it doesn’t seem real still. Recently an old interview from way back in 2006 showed Bryant’s religious, and spiritual side. The NBA legend was talking with NBA host/analyst Stephen A. Smith, a prominent figure to this day, on the the Quite Frankly Show. In the interview Bryant reflects on his faith during a tough time in his life (the 2003 sexual assault accusation against him)
When Smith asked him what he had learned from the experience, Bryant had one simple phrase to sum it all up “God is great…It doesn’t get much simpler than that.”
Smith replied, “Did you know that?…I mean everyone knows that but the way you know it now, did you know it before that incident took place?” and without hesitation Kobe reaffirmed his stance:
“You can know it all you want, but until you have to pick up that cross that you can’t carry and He picks it up for you and carries you and the cross… then you know.”
Kobe Bryant 🔊🙏🏼
“Until you got to pick up that cross
that you can’t carry,
& He picks it up for you
& carries you & the cross,
then you know.” pic.twitter.com/xB9CKjScB4
— Jaycob Ammerman (@Jammer2233) February 26, 2020
Throughout his life, until his untimely death, Bryant had remained religious, and faithful. According to different sources, the late legend, and his daughter Gianna had gone to church (at the Cathedral of Our Lady Queen of the Angels in Newport) a few hours before the tragic crash on the 26th of January.
Father Steve Sallot confirmed the sighting, saying he “was here before the 7 a.m. mass…that’s the first mass of the day.” He exited the church near 7:10 a.m.
In an interview Father Sallot remembers Bryant’s time at the church, as well as those last crucial moments:
“He just came and went quietly and prayed and gave his life to the Lord. And yesterday he had to give it back…I saw that he had blessed himself because there was holy water on his forehead, so I knew that he went in the chapel and prayed, came out and blessed himself. We spoke for a minute, shook hands and off he went.”
As final thoughts, Sallot added: “Normally I don’t really chat with him because as I said he would come in and leave quietly. And I respected that space for him, and yesterday I just happened to come in the same door as he was going out. And we call that ‘the backhand of grace.’ We got a moment for me that was grace. And hopefully, for him, it was as well.”
Little did Father Sallot know that sadly, it would be the last time he would speak with him. Kobe Bryant left us too soon, but his legacy will remain forever.