Kobe Bryant may have been born in Philadelphia, but when it came to baseball, the late NBA legend loved the Amazons.
"He always told me that he was a Mets fan and that I was his favorite player," said great Darryl Strawberry on Monday on the team's official blog. “I was always honored when a great player like Kobe said I was his favorite. What happened on Sunday naturally affects me. "
On Sunday, 41-year-old Bryant, 13-year-old daughter Gianna, and seven other family members were killed in a helicopter crash in Southern California while traveling to Bryant's basketball facility.
The tragedy shook the world, including Strawberry.
"I am heartbroken for his wife and [three] Daughters, ”said Strawberry. "I just can't imagine how they feel today."
Strawberry didn't say how Bryant, who had a unique upbringing, became a Mets fan.
The Lakers great was born in Philadelphia, but spent most of his childhood in Italy, where his father Joe continued his professional basketball career after retiring from the NBA.
Bryant eventually returned to high school in Philadelphia, where he dominated before moving directly to the NBA for a career spanning two decades and five NBA titles.
Bryant was born eight years before Strawberry and the Mets won the 1986 World Series.
"What happened to Kobe just makes you understand that you can't take anything for granted in life," said Strawberry, a colon cancer survivor who also fought drug and alcohol addiction. "Nothing is given. You have to be thankful for every new day. "