Only a few hours removed the news regarding the passing of Lakers icon Kobe Bryant, Carmelo Anthony held back emotions long enough to reflect on his friend’s tragic death. The current Trail Blazers forward detailed how his relationship with Bryant went beyond just basketball.
The Athletic’s Jason Quick captured Anthony’s remarks detailing the bond that the two high-profile stars shared.
“Our friendship and relationship was deeper than basketball. It was family. It was friendship,” Anthony said. “Basketball was the last piece of connective tissue between us two.”
Like several other players that knew Bryant on a personal level, Anthony explained how basketball was removed from his thought process following Sunday’s news.
“At that point, everything went numb, dark,” Anthony said. “Basketball for me was the furthest thing on my mind today.”
Here is the video from Anthony’s post-game availability.
An emotional Carmelo Anthony postgame, "Probably the hardest game I've ever had to play."— NBC Sports Northwest (@NBCSNorthwest) January 27, 2020
He shared a deep relationship with Kobe Bryant that went far beyond basketball. pic.twitter.com/O3BvIRFYqI
Along with their bond off the court, Bryant and Anthony were teammates on Team USA’s gold-winning campaigns in 2008 and 2012.
Our thoughts are with Bryant’s family and friends, many of whom are now enduring the unimaginable task of processing their grief in the public eye.