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Featured Image Credit: PGA Tour
Tiger Woods has paid an emotional tribute to Kobe Bryant following his death on Sunday.
Former LA Lakers star Bryant was killed alongside his 13-year-old daughter Gianna and seven other passengers on board a helicopter which crashed in Los Angeles yesterday.
Woods, a life-long Lakers fan, paid an emotional tribute to the 41-year-old following his appearance in the 2020 Farmers Insurance Open.
The golfer revealed that he was unaware Bryant had died until he left the green and didn't understand calls to 'Do it for Mamba' during the action.
"I didn't know until Joey [LaCava, Woods' caddie] just told me coming off the 18th green," the 44-year-old told CBS Sports.
"I didn't understand why people in the gallery were saying, 'Do it for Mamba.' Now I understand. It's a shocker to everyone. I'm unbelievably sad, and it's one of the more tragic days. The reality is setting in because I was just told about 5 minutes ago."
INGLEWOOD, CA - 1997
Tiger Woods & Kobe Bryant pic.twitter.com/FyjdyALMIb
- Roberto Delso (@HcpCero) January 26, 2020
"Life is very fragile as we all know," added an emotional Woods. "You can be gone at any given time and we have to appreciate the moments that we have. I just can't imagine what his family's going through right now."
Woods watched Bryant for two decades as a Lakers fan, and he described what he'll remember the five-time NBA champion for most.
"[I'll remember] the fire. He burned so competitively hot," Woods said. "The desire to win. He brought it each and every night on both ends of the floor. Not too many guys can say that throughout NBA history.
Kobe Bryant is in the generation of GOATS like Cristiano Ronaldo, Messi, Michael Jordan, LBJ, Tiger Woods etc - What they have accomplished have made them seem like superhuman. It's tough to accept this because you've always thought Kobe was not like the rest of us.
- hash (@hashim0307) January 26, 2020
"He'd lock up on D [defence]. He was obviously dominant on the offensive side, but anytime he was in the game, he'd take on their best player and shut him down for all 48 minutes.
"That was one of the more impressive things throughout his entire career. And then when he ruptured his Achilles and went to the foul line and made his shots, that's tough."