The NBA legend recalled playing against number 8 during Bryant’s early years in the league but also spoke about what it is like for a player of his caliber to find happiness after retirement. Kobe passed away in a horrific helicopter crash one day prior to Pippen’s eulogy.
“It still feels like a horrible dream, but I wanted to share a few words about Kobe as we mourn losing him, his beautiful daughter Gianna, and the others who tragically passed,” Pippen began his lengthy emotional statement.
“I remember when Kobe first got into the league. I told MJ during a workout, ‘This kid plays like you, talks like you, walks like you, he even sticks his tongue out like you. He’s going to be special.'”
Pippen eulogized Bryant on Instagram by describing his game and his dealings with Kobe the player.
“Right away, it was obvious that Kobe was insanely competitive, supremely confident and as driven as anyone I’ve ever seen.” Scottie continued, “In his early years, we were still in our prime. But you could see what he was thinking: ‘Y’all better than me now, but that’s not going to last.'”
“Kobe wanted to be like Mike, and who didn’t? He modeled his game after MJ’s and aspired to be the best. But behind the scenes, Kobe was picking everybody’s brains.”
Scottie went on to say how fond he was of Kobe’s approach to the game of basketball and applauded his “respect for the game, his teammates and his competition.”
“When Kobe was still playing, he’d call or text on occasion and we’d talk about basketball. He was so curious and he asked a lot about how to become a better defender and play certain guys. I’ll always cherish those conversations.”
“He cared so much about the game and winning, and had an insatiable drive to constantly learn and improve. Championships and MVPs aside, those are the things that will define his legacy.”
Pippen not only praised Bryant’s skills on the court but expressed how Kobe was truly in his element after he gave the game up.
“For all the glory he achieved as a player, I think he was happiest in these recent years,” he said. “Retirement for guys like him isn’t easy, but he was enjoying as much success off the court as he did on it. He loved his family more than anything in the world.”
He had trouble finding the words but Pippen did his best to express how he is feeling after the tragic loss of his good friend.
“I’m devastated and I feel like I lost a part of me. Kobe was amazing, a champion and an icon, and it’s impossibly difficult to know he’s not here anymore.”
“My thoughts and prayers are with his wife Vanessa, daughters Natalia, Bianka and Capri, and his extended family and friends. There will never be another Black Mamba. RIP”
Scottie’s millions of followers had a strong reaction to the moving eulogy that he shared on social media. Many fans sent love his way, including his soon to be ex-wife, Larsa Pippen who left several ❤️???? emojis in the comments.
Several followers used words like, “Intense” and “Beautiful” to describe the memories he shared about his friend. His fans felt the need to support him and send good vibes to everyone in the comments.
“❤️❤️❤️ well said. Much love to all that are mourning. ???” one follower wrote while another said, “This is by far the best Kobe post/tribute I’ve seen. Real, personal, substantive.”