Kobe Bryant's death in January was traumatic for just about every player in the NBA, but for Trae Young, it was even more personal. Young, in only his second season in the NBA, was beginning to get to know Bryant before his death, and was even his daughter Gianna's favorite player.
Bryant attended three NBA games this season, and two of them featured Young's Hawks. After one of those games, Young was able to meet Gianna, which he revealed in a tweet following their tragic helicopter accident.
...This S*** can’t be real... this the first moment I was able to meet Gianna Maria, she’s been to only 3 games this year... 2 of them were mine... She told me I was her favorite player to watch🙏🏽 I can’t believe this😢😭— Trae Young (@TheTraeYoung) January 26, 2020
Rest Easy Gigi❤️ pic.twitter.com/IfDrE9Gjlv
On Monday, Young appeared on Showtime's "All The Smoke" with Matt Barnes and Stephen Jackson. There, he revealed how he met the Bryants and got to know them, and how much their loss still hurts.
"I recently got to meet Kobe and talk to him even more this past year," Young said. "His daughter obviously loved watching me, loved watching me play, so Kobe got connected with my trainer, Alex Bazzell, and so that's how. Gigi was working with my trainer, and she found out, so that's how I got connected with Kobe, through my trainer Alex. Me and Kobe got to talk pretty frequently, and he just gave me a lot of advice. So two of the three games he went to this season were once when I played in LA, and another when I played in Brooklyn."
His connection to Bryant and his family made his death that much more tragic.
"It was even more heartbreaking for me knowing that I was Gigi's favorite player to watch, so it's sad for me, a sad story. I was just blessed that I was able to meet him and have that sort of relationship with him.
Bryant's death is still being felt around the NBA. Episode 5 of "The Last Dance" aired on Sunday and was dedicated to Bryant. Even with games on hold, Bryant's legacy has not been forgotten.