The world is mourning the loss of Kobe Bryant, and those who knew #24 best are understandably living through a nightmare. One of Kobe’s biggest admirers wasn’t a Los Angeles Lakers fan, but one of his greatest competitors — Dwyane Wade. On Sunday, Wade attempted to verbalize how much Kobe Bryant meant to him in a tearful goodbye.
Kobe Bryant, his 13-year-old daughter Gianna Maria Bryant, 38-year-old Harbor Day School basketball coach Christina Mauser, Orange Coast College baseball coach John Altobelli, his daughter Alyssa Altobelli, his wife Keri Altobelli, and his brother Tony Altobelli, all passed away from the tragic helicopter crash on Sunday. The out-of-nowhere death has shocked the world, especially former NBA player Dwyane Wade.
When news first broke of Kobe’s death, Dwyane reacted on Twitter with a tweet that said: “Nooooooooooo God please No!”
Wade didn’t respond for hours until he shared a gut-wrenching video explaining his true feelings of the loss of his friend. “Today is one of the saddest days in my lifetime,” Wade said in an Instagram Story video. “It seems like a bad dream that you just wanna wake up from. It’s a nightmare.”
The former Miami Heat star gave an emotional tribute to how much Kobe meant to him on the basketball as well as a friend. “I know we’re all feeling the same way about such a great leader, just a great champion, a great person,” Dwyane said. “If you got a chance to know Kobe, if you got a chance to really know Kobe, there ain’t nobody better, man.”
“Emotions are all over the place,” Dwyane admitted. “These are the moments where you ask ‘Why?’”
“His daughter Gigi, this is a sad day. There’s no way around it,” Wade added. “My family and I have been sharing Kobe stories. We have so many moments that he’s given us, and we’re so thankful for those moments. I’m thankful for those moments, man. I got a chance to have a relationship, a friendship, and I’m going to miss the friendship.”
Despite all of his accolades, such as being a three-time NBA champion, 13-time NBA All-Star and Finals MVP, Wade said one of the factors that drove him is that he “wanted to be respected by” Kobe Bryant.
“Kobe, thank you man, thank you for all the memories. And we got a lot of good ones,” Wade said as he tried to fight back his emotions. “And these tears that we’re crying, we gonna miss you. And it’s not gonna go away. We forever, forever miss you man. Thank you for being my friend.”
Wade also wrote on Twitter, “Heroes come and go LEGENDS live forever,” along with Kobe’s two retired jersey numbers.