Former NBA player Dwyane Wade recorded a message honoring the late Kobe Bryant following the NBA legend’s death in a helicopter crash on Sunday.
“Today is one of the saddest days of my lifetime,” an emotional Wade said. “It seems like a bad dream that you just want to wake up from. It’s a nightmare.”
Through tears, Wade recounted his relationship with Bryant, and the life he lived.
“If you got the chance to know Kobe, if you got the chance to really know Kobe, there’s nobody better man,” Wade said. “Emotions are all over the place. These are the moments where you ask, ‘Why?'”
In his Instagram story, Wade included videos of moments between himself and Bryant. Wade posted a clip of Bryant laughing while saying Wade would be “the oldest guy in the league” after Bryant’s retirement. Bryant went on to say how Wade was a “vicious competitor,” and that he loved playing against him.
Wade shared pictures of Bryant with his daughter, Gianna, who also died in the helicopter crash.
“My heart, thoughts, goes out to Kobe’s family, his daughter Gigi,” Wade said. “It’s a sad day, there’s no way around it.”
Wade went on to say he and his family would share stories of Bryant, and that he’s thankful for the memories because “he’s one of my favorite players”
As he continued to cry, Wade highlighted that Bryant’s retirement from the NBA played a large part in him wanting to leave the game. The two competed against each other throughout their careers and also won an Olympic gold medal together with Team USA in 2008.
“I’m gonna miss him, I’m gonna miss the friendship,” Wade said. “I said it many times that when Kobe Bryant retired from the game of basketball, he left a hole in my wanting to play. In the league, I chased him. That’s who I chased. I wanted to be respected by him, and once I reached that level, I knew I did something.”
Wade finished his emotional message by thanking Bryant for the memories and his friendship. He also added that he will never be forgotten.
“Kobe, thank you man. Thank you for all the memories,” Wade said. “We got a lot of good ones, and these tears that we’re crying — we’re going to miss you. And it’s not leaving today, a week from now, a month from now, a year from now. We will forever, forever miss you man. You are a legend, you are a icon, you are a father, you are a husband, you are a son, you are a brother. You’re a friend. Thank you for being my friend, I love you brother.”