On Friday night, former Cleveland Cavaliers point guard Kyrie Irving held a story session on Instagram Live and recounted an incredible conversation he had with the late great Kobe Bryant during the 2016 NBA Finals.
“I had just got done really going through some really insightful talks with Kob,” Irving said. “I didn’t play well the first two games in Golden State. I called Kobe, I was like, ‘Man, what do you see out there?’ And he was like, ‘Man just be yourself, just be aggressive.'”
Irving then paused the story time to shout out those watching and to honor Bryant’s memory.
“I don’t want to make it a sad thing,” he said. “It’s just, that was a big part of a lot of teaching and influence in my life and mentorship. We had a different relationship. I followed a lot of that man’s patterns. I’ve copied a lot of that man’s moves and who he was as a person. Even the way he went about his life.
“It wasn’t really about connecting with everyone all the time. When you’re on a different thought pattern at times and you’re trying to explain yourself, you can overthink and overdo. That man really channeled all that energy and all that hate that people had for him and channeled it all into a bunch of F U’s.”
Clearly, Irving is still dealing with the massive loss that took place earlier this year.
It’s certainly admirable that he is able to momentarily take his emotions out of the equation in order to share the incredible memories and lessons that Bryant offered Irving before his untimely death.