Pat Riley Releases Powerful Statement on Kobe Bryant’s Passing

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Many around the world are expressing their love and sympathy after the tragic death of Los Angeles Lakers legend Kobe Bryant.

Among them is Miami Heat team president Pat Riley.

Riley coached the Lakers during the franchise’s iconic Showtime era. While he never coached Bryant, Riley has been complimentary of the former NBA superstar over the years.

Other members of the Heat family have been impacted by the shocking news as well. Dwyane Wade, whose career overlapped with Bryant’s, tweeted his response shortly after the news broke.

Wade and Bryant, as well as former Heat stars LeBron James and Chris Bosh, teamed up to help lead the United States to a gold medal in the 2008 Olympics.

The announcement of Bryant’s death hit the NBA like few events ever have, as his impact on and off the court was gargantuan.

He drove the Lakers to five NBA championships and helped cement the franchise as the gold standard of basketball around the world.

His legendary performances, including his 81-point game on Jan. 22, 2006, stoked the imagination of many and showed them that the seemingly impossible was possible.

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Robert is a native of Santa Monica, Calif. and a graduate of the University of California, Santa Barbara. He has been an avid NBA fan since he was a little kid in the mid '90s, and during that time he has lived through the Alonzo Mourning, Dwyane Wade and LeBron James era of Heat basketball. He feels strongly that the NBA and sports aren't just entertainment, but also a means for learning life lessons.