Lakers legend Jerry West delivers heartfelt remembrance of late Kobe Bryant
One of the most moving remembrances of the late Los Angeles Lakers superstar came from another L.A. legend, Jerry West.
Speaking with Robin Roberts, Michael Strahan and Tom Rinaldi on an ABC/ESPN special, West reflected on his relationship with the late star and his impact on the game and beyond.
West began by talking about serving as a "surrogate father" for Bryant, which involved helping the straight-out-of-high-school prospect adjust to life in the NBA, before delving into the hurt he was feeling.
"One of the worst days of my life. The only thing I can compare it to is I had a brother killed in Korea. I'm just devastated by this news," West said.
West then discussed Bryant's transition from the NBA to a successful post-basketball life and his love for his family.
"This was a man for all seasons," West said. "He was more than an iconic basketball player. He was someone who inspired millions of fans. Not here in this state, not here in the United States – all over the world...
"He was beloved... For me, this is a godawful day."
West, emotional throughout, ended by discussing what made Bryant special:
"I think you can see special talents in people. A lot of people have special talent, but they waste or they never use it... He didn't ruin his opportunity. He was never going to give up...
"I think because he started so young that he resonated with so many people, young kids who have hopes and dreams like he did...
"He brought joy to so many young kids that had the same admiration and same desire to do something unique."