Tiger Woods who was a good friend of Kobe Bryant was shocked to know about the latter’s death.
He was informed about the tragic incident by his caddie straight after finishing a round at a PGA Tour event.
When he was strolling from the 18th green at Torrey Pines, his caddie Joe LaCava informed him of Bryant’s death along with eight others in a helicopter crash on Sunday.
Woods was very confused when fans were shouting ‘do it for Mamba’ (Bryant’s nickname) when he was ready to take a shot.
He explained: ‘I didn’t know until Joey just told me coming off the 18th green.’
‘I didn’t really understand why people in the gallery were saying “do it for Mamba”, but now I understand.’
‘It’s a shock to everyone, unbelievably sad, one of the more tragic days, for me the reality is just kind of setting in because I was just told probably about five minutes ago.’
A fan asked, how he would remember Bryant? ‘I’ll remember the fire, he burned so competitively hot and the desire to win,’ he replied.
‘He brought it each and every night on both ends of the floor. Not too many guys can say that throughout NBA history.
‘He’d lock up on D and obviously he was dominant on offence and any time he was in the game he’d go onto their best player and shut him down for all 48 minutes and that was one of the more impressive things I think in his entire career.’
‘And then you know, when he ruptured his Achilles and still went to the foul line and made his shots, I mean that’s, that’s tough.’
Speaking in his press conference after his closing round at the Farmers Insurance Open, Woods said: ‘We really connected on more the mental side of it, the prep, how much it takes to be prepared. For me, I don’t have to react like he does in my sport. We can take our time. But you’ve still got to pay attention to the details, and that’s what he did better than probably any other player in NBA history. He paid attention to the details, the little things.
‘The amount of hours that he spent in the gym in the off-season and during the summers to work on shots and do all the different things, it looked like it came natural to him on the court during game time, but he spent more hours looking at film and trying to figure out what’s the best way to become better.
That’s where he and I really connected, because we’re very similar.
‘Ultimate toughness, ultimate competitor, and one of the most shocking, tragic days that I’ve ever been a part of in a very quick span here … Life is very fragile as we all know. You can be gone at any given time and we have to appreciate the moments that we have.’
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