The passing of NBA legend Kobe Bryant on Sunday affected not just the basketball world, but the entire sporting world.
For New Jersey Devils defenceman P.K. Subban, the 41-year-old that lost his life in a helicopter crash played an important role during pivotal moments in his career.
“This affects everyone in the sports world. He touched a lot of lives, he’s touching more now. All you want to do is pray for the family and you hope that Vanessa and the kids and everyone stays strong.”— New Jersey Devils (@NJDevils) January 27, 2020
P.K. Subban talks to the media about the impact of Kobe Bryant. pic.twitter.com/gWWGTF2EXX
“I was just very happy to have that relationship with him”, the 29-year-old blueliner said during the first media availability since Kobe’s passing.
“I remember towards the end of his career, I was able to go to more Lakers games and got to see him there. When I was at his last game against the Celtics, I connected with him and told him that I wanted to look [at] him for some advice throughout my career. I ended up going to the Stanley Cup Finals and was in touch with him throughout the whole final.”
As a member of the Nashville Predators, to have that amount of support and advice from a superstar like Kobe clearly meant the world to Subban.
Even if his team suffered defeat against the Pittsburgh Penguins in 2017, Kobe and Subban continued to talk.
“A lot of times, whenever I would ask him what to do, or things that I wanted to maybe change, a lot of times he would tell me not to change anything and stick with what works. He was always willing to make time,” Subban said.
“I’m just very lucky to have had that type of relationship with him. I wasn’t best friends with Kobe, or anything like that, but I’m sure you can understand the impact of just being able to feel like you can touch him and connect with him. He was that big.”
In his first season in New Jersey, Subban has scored six goals and has 11 assists in 48 games.
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