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#pounditSunday, October 25, 2020

Phil Jackson calls Kobe Bryant ‘a chosen one’ in statement on his death

Phil Jackson

Kobe Bryant’s former coach offered a touching tribute to the Mamba after his sudden passing on Sunday.

Phil Jackson, who coached Bryant during all five of his championships with the Los Angeles Lakers, reacted to the news in an official statement.

“The crash was a tragedy for multiple families,” Jackson wrote. “My heart goes out to Vanessa and the families that lost loved ones. Kobe was a chosen one — special in many ways to many people. Our relationship as coach/player transcended the norm. He went beyond the veil.”

Jackson was Bryant’s head coach on the Lakers for 11 seasons from 1999 to 2004 and again from 2005 until Jackson’s retirement in 2011. While their relationship was tumultuous at times (as detailed in Jackson’s 2004 book “The Last Season” where he described Bryant as “uncoachable), the two remained close even after Bryant’s retirement as a player in 2016.

The 74-year-old Jackson will always be the coach most associated with Bryant, and he has to be as shocked as everybody else is by the tragedy.

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Other victims of the helicopter crash:
John Altobelli, junior college baseball coach, also died in helicopter crash
Christina Mauser, girls’ basketball coach, among the helicopter crash victims

Tributes to Kobe:
Dallas Mavericks retire Kobe Bryant’s No. 24 jersey
Video: Raptors, Spurs start game with amazing tribute to Kobe Bryant
Shaq posts heartfelt tribute to Kobe Bryant
Michael Jordan releases statement on death of ‘little brother’ Kobe Bryant
Video: Doc Rivers breaks down crying talking about Kobe Bryant
Phil Jackson calls Kobe Bryant ‘a chosen one’ in statement on his death
NBA commissioner Adam Silver issues statement on death of Kobe Bryant
Video: Dwyane Wade posts emotional message reacting to Kobe Bryant’s death
Kendrick Perkins extends olive branch to Kevin Durant after Kobe Bryant’s death
Video: Emotional Mike Breen sums up NBA world’s emotions about Kobe Bryant’s death
Trae Young’s huge game was full of Kobe Bryant-related statistical coincidences

More coverage:
Media errors, rumors, poor judgment run rampant in reporting of Kobe Bryant news
Kobe Bryant checked in on Shaq’s son Shareef morning of helicopter crash
No, Rick Fox did not die in helicopter crash that killed Kobe, Gianna Bryant
Lakers fans start memorial to Kobe Bryant outside Staples Center
Kobe Bryant’s last tweet was congratulating LeBron James on passing him
Sports world stunned over Kobe Bryant news
Kobe Bryant dies in helicopter crash – dead at 41

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