Washington Capitals captain Alex Ovechkin told the media after the team’s practice at Bell Centre in Montreal on Sunday that the passing of NBA legend Kobe Bryant was “tough.” The former Los Angeles Lakers shooting guard and five-time NBA champion died in a helicopter accident, along with one of his daughters and seven others according to Los Angeles County Sheriff Alex Villanueva, on Sunday morning.
Capitals’ Captain Alex Ovechkin on the passing of Kobe Bryant pic.twitter.com/ojeLVkg2Hc
— Washington Capitals (@Capitals) January 26, 2020
“It’s tough you know, because I know him. He always treat me well when he saw me. You know, it’s hard. He was a legend in the basketball world and the whole world, and it is tough. Still can’t believe it,” Ovechkin said.
He added that the two met three or four times and that Bryant gave him a game-worn jersey and basketball sneakers after a Capitals’ game at Staples Center a few years ago.
“He always shake my hand, he knows who I am. I remember when I was in the stands eating hot dogs and he was like pointing to me and I was like, ‘holy,’ but it is hard. It’s hard,” he continued.
“As an athlete, you want to meet one of the greatest you know? And he was the best.”
Capitals and Washington Wizards owner Ted Leonsis also expressed his sorrow for Bryant, who died at age 41 and retired from the NBA five years ago.
Statement from @TedLeonsis on the passing of Kobe Bryant.
— Washington Wizards (@WashWizards) January 26, 2020
By Harrison Brown