An emotional Kyrie Irving opens up about Kobe Bryant, his daughter Gianna, and the young ballplayers who passed away on Sunday.
Irving and Bryant were exceptionally close and understandably, the news of Kobe’s passing hit Irving hard. The mercurial point guard didn’t play against the New York Knicks on Sunday after learning the news.
An emotional Kyrie Irving discusses Kobe Bryant, Gigi and the other lives tragically lost.
— ESNY (@EliteSportsNY) January 30, 2020
“It’s just hard to even conjure up the words,” Irving said. “You try to find a clear-cut message that you would send to Gigi and Kobe and everybody that lost their lives in such a tragedy like that. It’s hard.
“I’ve been trying to do this the last few days and just trying to get ready for a moment like this. I just gotta let it be, let it flow. I know he’s now watching, as well as Gigi, as well as the young ballplayers that were on the plane as well. I was just with them at the Mamba Academy working out with them in the summertime.
“It’s heartbreaking for all of us, but I’m not the only one dealing with something. I think the most beautiful thing is that it’s connecting all of us.”
It’s clear from Irving’s comments that he’s still trying to process everything that has transpired over the last few days. Losing a loved one is never easy and trying to process that grief in the public eye is something only a handful of people endure.
Given the difficult circumstances, Irving was exceptional. He poured in 20 points and five assists in the win over Detroit. Another friend of Bryant’s, Spencer Dinwiddie, led the way for Brooklyn, scoring 28 points and doling out eight assists.
The Nets have one night off before hosting the Chicago Bulls on Friday (7:30 p.m. ET).