New York Giants running back Saquon Barkley honors Kobe Bryant with custom Los Angeles Lakers jacket at the NFL Honors.
On Saturday night, the annual NFL Honors will take place, an event in which the league provides numerous awards for on-field achievements from the past year. This includes the NFL Most Valuable Player Award, which could very well go to Baltimore Ravens quarterback Lamar Jackson.
In attendance at this year’s event is none other than New York Giants running back Saquon Barkley. The second-year pro attended the event last year, winning the AP Offensive Rookie of the Year, the Pepsi Rookie of the Year, and the FedEx Ground Player of the Year.
This appearance is extra special though, due to the fact that Barkley’s attire is honoring the late, great Kobe Bryant.
"Tonight, I want to represent him, but I also want to pay my respect with the rest of my career."@saquon is paying tribute to Kobe at the NFL honors with an original Lakers jacket from 2000 💜💛 @brgridiron pic.twitter.com/L96GbE7r5k
— Bleacher Report (@BleacherReport) February 1, 2020
“I wanted to respect Kobe and pay my respect to Kobe,” he said. “Jeff Hamilton, the guy who actually made this, this is actually an original jacket from the 2000 year when he won the NBA championship. And you know, everyone who knows me well knows how much Kobe meant to me, so my people were able to pull some strings for me.
“It’s sad to see him go. Tonight, I [not only] want to represent him, but I also want to pay my respect with the rest of my career.”
Bryant — along with his 13-year-old daughter Gianna — tragically died in a helicopter crash last Sunday. A total of nine people passed away from the accident.
One of the things that Barkley and Kobe have in common is that they’re both “girl dads.” Bryant loved being a father to his four girls, constantly expressing appreciation towards them.
Barkley’s daughter Jada will turn two years old this April.
“I know everyone’s saying ‘girl dad’ and that’s why it definitely hit a little harder for me,” Saquon said. “You know my little girl Jada. When that happened I just wanted to pick up the phone and call Jada and let her know I love her because you never notice life is too short and you got to take advantage of the opportunities that you have.”
The NFL Honors will air on Saturday night at 8:00 p.m. ET on FOX.