The basketball world is mourning the loss of Kobe Bryant and someone taking it very hard is former WVU legend, Lakers player and General Manager Jerry West.
West spent over 15 minutes on CBS Los Angeles Sunday afternoon to talk about the helicopter crash that claimed the life of Bryant, his 13 year old daughter Gianna and 7 other people Sunday morning.
“To wake up to this news, this has been one of the most horrible days of my life. I felt like I’ve lost a son. I’m frankly not doing very well.”
West also released a statement on the tragedy. “I am so saddened for Kobe’s parents, Vanessa, Natalia, Bianka, Capri, Kobe’s sisters and all of the NBA fans that hold Kobe in their hearts,” West wrote. “This loss of Kobe, Gianna and everyone on board is beyond tragic and incomprehensible.
“I will love Kobe forever and always cherish the time that I spent with him. I watched him grow from an energetic kid into the man he became, making a difference in so many people’s life. He has left the world a better place, Kobe’s legacy will life forever.”
“To see the transformation of him from a 17-year-old kid who used to spend time at my house with my son Ryan driving him because he couldn’t drive — he couldn’t even sign a contract because he was too young,” West told CBS. “To wanting me to go to a gym with him to watch him work out and maybe make suggestions to him. I felt like a surrogate father to him. It’s going to take me a long time to get over this one.”