Barack Obama says the loss of Kobe Bryant and his daughter hit extra-close to home because he himself, as a father, has been a champion of his own kids in and out of sports.
44 spoke Saturday at a brunch hosted by the NBA for All-Star weekend, and while talking to a room full of journalists … BO said he knew Kobe’s death was still fresh on the minds of several people in the NBA family — and rightly so, as he too seemed stunned by it.
In a video posted by CNN’s Wolf Blitzer, Barack says … “That loss is something that I know many are still grappling with — particularly, Kobe because he was with his daughter and those families and those children. And those of us who have had the joy and privilege of being parents, and taking our kids to ball games, and rooting for our children, and then seeing our dreams and hopes passed on to them … nothing is more heartbreaking.”
He goes on to offer his and Michelle‘s condolences to the NBA family, not just over Kobe but also for former NBA commissioner David Stern — who died of a stroke last year.
At the time of Kobe’s death, Obama remembered him with kind words too … writing, “Kobe was a legend on the court and just getting started in what would have been just as meaningful a second act. To lose Gianna is even more heartbreaking to us as parents. Michelle and I send love and prayers to Vanessa and the entire Bryant family on an unthinkable day.”
Kobe was 41. His daughter, Gianna, was just 13.