The world is still reeling, two days after NBA legend and former Los Angeles Lakers star, Kobe Bryant was killed in a helicopter crash along with his 13-year-old daughter, Gianna, and seven other passengers.
His immeasurable legacy will live on forever.
We recall the time when the legendary Bryant was full of praise for former Greek international and Panathinaikos legend, Dimitris Diamantidis, during an interview with FIBA.
Serving as a global ambassador for the 2019 FIBA World Cup, Bryant spoke with FIBA about his memories playing with the United States, his outlook for the final tournament, and even some fantasy basketball questions.
While Bryant played with many great players during his Lakers days he didn’t hesitate giving a name when asked if there was one player he wished he could have had on his team during his playing days.
“Well there’s a player from back in the day that I played against who I wish I had on my team. His name is (Dimitris) Diamantidis from Greece,” Bryant stated.
“I love and wish I had him. His length and his size, and what he could do defensively, I would have loved to have another player on the wing who could harass little point guards,” Bryant explained.
Greek fans certainly know all about the legendary Diamantidis during his 12-year stint with Panathinaikos, where the Kastoria native won three EuroLeague titles as well as numerous titles on the domestic front. But perhaps it was the lucrative role Diamantidis played in Greece’s run to the Final of the 2006 FIBA World Championship that caught Kobe’s interest, especially after Greece defeated the mighty United States 101-96 in the semifinals.