Charles Barkley Speaks Out on Kobe Bryant’s Death: ‘He Was a Great Kid’

by Thad Mitchell
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Charles Barkley still remembers getting the news.

Though much time has gone by since his death, the world is still reeling after losing basketball star Kobe Bryant in 2020.

It has been nearly one year since Bryant left the world after a helicopter crash killed him and everyone on board. His 13-year-old daughter, Gianna, and seven other on the helicopter were also killed. The shock waves of Bryant’s death we’re felt immediately and are still looming today and will forever in the hearts of sports fans around the world.

Bryant, 41-years-old at the time of his death, left behind one of the greatest legacies ever owned by a professional athlete. He spent all 20 years in the National Basketball Association with the Los Angeles Lakers. Spending an entire career with a single team is a rarity today among professional athletes.

The former Lakers guard has a list of accolades that rival any professional athletes to have ever played any sport. He will be inducted into the NBA Hall-of-Fame in a special ceremony later this year.

Bryant touched many people during his life time and his death is still in mourning for many. Former NBA great and fellow Hall-of-Famer Charles Barkley is among many who say they have a hole in their heart because the loss.

Charles Barkley Calls Kobe Bryant ‘Like a Family Member’

In a recent interview, Barkley says the approaching one-year anniversary of Bryant’s death is hitting him hard. He describes his fellow NBA superstar as close as a family member. He was recently a guest of talk show host Ellen Degeneres, where he discussed the impact of losing a close friend. The episode will air today (Friday) at the show’s regular time.

“It was like losing a family member,” Barkley says of Bryant’s death. “I’ve known Kobe his whole life. So, I’ve been around him for 30 years. So he was like part of my family.”

During the show, Barkley explains that NBA players are a close-knit group of individuals and pain of losing someone is felt by all.

“Any time someone on the NBA dies, it’s painful,” he says. “He was a great kid. He was obviously one of the greatest basketball players ever. But, you know when people die young, that’s what hurts me.”

The Hall-of-Fame power forward says untimely death is most disturbing when it happens to young people.

“If you get to be a certain age and die, if you had a great life, but when you die really young, it just really sucks. Especially for his wife and his kids,” he says.

H/T: TMZ Sports

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