Following his tragic death, its been reported that Kobe Bryant used to swim with Great White Sharks ahead of every NBA season, in order to get himself ready for games. According to former Bryant's close friend and former Clippers player, Corey Maggette opened up about the late basketball icon, admitting that he was "different" in his approach to the rigors of an NBA season.
"As far as with Kobe, you just knew that he was different. He was different," Maggette told Jovan Buha of The Athletic. "I remember the call that I got from Rob [Pelinka] and Kobe. Rob called me and said, 'Man, you wouldn't believe where I am right now.' I said, 'Where?' He said, 'Man, we're in the middle of the ocean and Kobe is trying to prepare himself for the rigors of the season. He's swimming with great white sharks.' I'm like, 'What?!' He said, 'He's literally swimming with great white sharks.'"
Maggette went on to share how memorable the experience was, admitting it's something will "never forget."
"He sent me a video of him literally swimming with great white sharks," he said. "And Kobe was like, 'Hey, if you want to get some of this Mamba, you need to come swim with the sharks.' I'm like, 'Kob, I'm not coming to swim with no damn sharks, man. You're on your own with that one.' It was just a different approach."
Sadly, Bryant was killed in a helicopter crash in January, along with his 13-year-old daughter Gianna, the aircraft's pilot, and six other passengers.
Corey Maggette and Kobe Bryant grew close over the years. I recently spoke w/ Corey about it, including:— Jovan Buha (@jovanbuha) February 12, 2020
- Kobe nearly joining the Clippers
- Kobe training with great white sharks
- Film sessions
- Being neighbors in Newport
- And more @TheAthleticLA:https://t.co/5RniN1xYpu
Following the deaths of Bryant and his daughter, the NBA icon's wife, Vanessa, took to Instagram to pour her heart out about the tragedy:
"My girls and I want to thank the millions of people who've shown support and love during this horrific time. Thank you for all the prayers. We definitely need them. We are completely devastated by the sudden loss of my adoring husband, Kobe — the amazing father of our children; and my beautiful, sweet Gianna — a loving, thoughtful, and wonderful daughter, and amazing sister to Natalia, Bianka, and Capri. We are also devastated for the families who lost their loved ones on Sunday, and we share in their grief intimately. There aren't enough words to describe our pain right now. I take comfort in knowing that Kobe and Gigi both knew that they were so deeply loved. We were so incredibly blessed to have them in our lives. I wish they were here with us forever. They were our beautiful blessings taken from us too soon."