Kobe Bryant, his daughter Gianna and seven others died in a helicopter crash on Sunday morning outside the Los Angeles area. A number of sports icons have sent their condolences to Bryant's family, with NFL legend Peyton Manning joining the ranks sharing his thoughts on the former Los Angeles Lakers star. Manning, who shared the ESPY Awards Stage with Bryant back in 2016, released a statement about what Bryant meant to him as a friend.
"I am incredibly saddened by the tragic news of Kobe Bryant's passing," Manning said in the statement. "I always appreciated Kobe's talent, work-ethic and competitiveness. Most of all, I appreciated his friendship. He was a friend and we worked together recently on several projects. I was honored to be asked by Kobe to be part of his Detail show and really enjoyed our interactions over the years. We retired at the same time and had to make that transition together. I am so shocked and saddened. My prayers are with the Bryant family and the families of everyone involved. I will miss Kobe very much just like so many will. It's just an incredibly sad day."
Manning retired from the NFL after the 2016 Super Bowl while Bryant ended his NBA career once the 2016 season came to an end. That led to them both winning the Icon Award at the ESPYs that same year, alongside soccer player Abby Wambach.
And as Manning mentioned, the duo worked together on the ESPN show Detail. Bryant started the show to break down basketball players and Manning did the same thing for football.
"The concept behind Detail is centered around helping athletes get better, so it made perfect sense to expand the show to other sports," Bryant, founder of Granity Studios and executive producer of Detail said per ESPN. "Peyton was my first call to be the NFL athlete due to his unrelenting preparation and study of his craft. The next generation of football players will learn first-hand how one of the greatest players of all time objectively breaks down a game. It's the ultimate film session for anyone who wants to learn and improve."0comments
"I've always enjoyed talking football with coaches, players and passionate fans, and that's at the core of this show," Manning said in a statement. "I'm honored to help expand Kobe's Detail to a football audience."
Manning and Bryant won a combined total of seven championships and six MVP awards during their careers in professional sports.