Milwaukee Bucks star Giannis Antetokounmpo deleted all of his social media accounts Sunday after the shocking news of Kobe Bryant’s death in a helicopter crash.
The Greek Freak used to train extensively with the legendary NBA star and looked up to him as an exemplary person and athlete who had achieved mythical status in the world of sport. He was known to work out with the late Los Angeles Lakers star during summers past.
The four-time All-Star Antetokounmpo also unexpectedly lost his father Charles in 2017, making Bryant’s passing yet another devastating blow for him.
“He’s one of my role models. I always watched him when I was younger,” Antetokounmpo had said of his idol.
But the admiration was mutual. “He’s unbelievable…No seriously, he has a lot of — I don’t think he understands how much talent he has,” Bryant noted during the last MKE stop in 2016.
In a recent interview Antetokounmpo said he had always prepared a list of questions to ask him when he was training with Kobe, and he would always carry a notebook to write down the answers.
“He taught me that I should always be thinking out of the box and always ‘be a kid.’ When I asked him what do you mean, be a kid, he replied: When you are a kid you always want to learn. You always ask questions.”
For Antetokounmpo this was one of the most important lessons he would ever learn from his idol.