Kobe Bryant Fans Remember His Commercial With Soccer Star Lionel Messi Following NBA Icon's Death

Kobe Bryant's death in a helicopter crash on Jan. 26 has led many of his fans to scour the internet in search of beloved videos and photos. This led to a 2012 advertisement – that also featured soccer star Lionel Messi – for Turkish Airlines surfacing on Twitter. Fans had forgotten that these two popular athletes had starred together, but they were immediately transported back to happier times while watching the short clip.

The commercial featured Bryant and Messi competing with each other in order to be the "biggest star" on the flight. There was a young lad that wanted Messi's autograph, but he was quickly distracted by Bryant.

The two athletes went back and forth proving their greatness. They did tricks with both basketballs and soccer balls before showcasing their skills with playing card houses. The final competition involved making balloon animals.

Ultimately, neither athlete won the competition. They were quickly forgotten after the flight attendant brought out some ice cream for the boy. He dropped his soccer ball and immediately set about eating the dessert.

"This was my best commercial from kobe," one user commented on Twitter. Others chimed in by saying that it was a truly beautiful advertisement. Although there were several comments about it being both funny and sad due to the tragedy of Bryant's death.

This was not the only commercial that the pair filmed together. Bryant and Messi also competed with each other in pursuit of the perfect selfie. They flew all over the world on Turkish Airlines, taking photos at the Kremlin, on top of massive mountains, and with exotic animals. The competition appeared to end in a draw after Bryant photobombed his rival when they crossed paths in Istanbul.

"Best video of Messi, one of my #1 favorite football players, and Kobe Bryant!" one Twitter user wrote after the Bryant vs. Messi ads resurfaced. "Also best respect to the basketball player. May he rest in peace!"

This competition between Bryant and Messi culminated in a FIFA 16 grudge match at the North Pole. The two stars played the popular video game while Santa Claus and his reindeer watched the battle.

While the two superstar athletes were not often featured speaking during these commercials, they proved to be adept at entertaining fans and viewers using just their expressions. This was proven to be true by the original ad topping 100 million views on YouTube in early 2013.

More commercials will not be possible due to the tragic helicopter crash, but the fans of Bryant will be going back and rewatching the previous entries. They will just be sad while doing so.


(Photo Credit: Noah Graham/NBAE via Getty Images)