PHILADELPHIA (CBS) — The NBA world is still trying to come to grips with the loss of Kobe Bryant, who was killed along with his daughter Gianna and seven other people in a helicopter crash on Sunday. Former Philadelphia 76er and NBA Hall of Famer Charles Barkley shared how he reacted to the news of Bryant’s tragic passing.
He said he was in the movies when the news broke.
“It started around 11:30, they showed a bunch of previews. I don’t ever take my phone in the theater, I get out and turn my phone over to 75 missed calls, 100 text messages. I’m like there must have been a big trade in the NBA,” Barkley said. “Then I start clicking and I see ‘died, killed, died, killed.’ Then I said, ‘Oh, something really bad has happened.’ Then I clicked to CNN and started crying.”
“He was like one of my kids.”
Charles on Kobe Bryant. pic.twitter.com/lWWBl78AAH
— NBA on TNT (@NBAonTNT) January 29, 2020
Barkley played against Bryant during the last four years of his career when he played for the Houston Rockets and says Bryant was even a part of his 19 years as an NBA commentator.
Barkley, along with the rest the NBA on TNT crew, spent Tuesday reflecting on Bryant’s legacy and his impact on them. He compared the loss to how it feels when a family member passes away.
“He was like one of my kids,” he said. “I just felt pain, I cried and I was like let me gather myself and I said I wouldn’t do any interviews because I didn’t know what to say.”
Barkley went on to say that he began to reach out to his co-anchors like Shaquille O’Neal and Kenny Smith, as well as Candace Parker, as he tried to cope with the loss of Bryant.