By LARRY VAUGHT
I never knew Kobe Bryant other than just watching him on TV and appreciating just how good he was and news of his death Sunday was stunning.
However, I can only imagine what it was like for those who knew him — even in the slightest way.
Indiana lost 77-76 to Maryland Sunday and just a few minutes after the game Indiana coach Archie Miller was asked his reaction to Bryant’s death in a helicopter crash that also killed one of his daughters and others.
“I just heard 30 seconds before I walked in here, and I’ll be honest with you, as sick as I am about the game, I have no idea who was on the helicopter with him, if it was family or whatnot, but I know Kobe Bryant. He was a year older than me in high school. He grew up in the state of Pennsylvania. He played for my dad in the McDonald’s All-American game,” Miller said.
“I mean, like that can’t be real. That’s the most sick, stunning thing that’s happened. You’re talking about generations of kids right now that in their generation, it would have been like Michael Jordan passing away at 40 years old. It makes no sense.
“I guess, if there’s a silver lining here, man, you look at your players, and you know it’s not the end of the world, obviously, that we lost this game when you really think about what’s really going on out there at times for other people, keep it in perspective a little bit. But that’s just an unbelievable tragedy.
“I don’t know the details of anything or who was with him. It’s just — you know, I don’t know how to really equate it to our youth. In my youth, it would have been Michael Jordan, and maybe in older generations, maybe some rock stars, but that’s just a sick, sick feeling, sick sad feeling for a lot of people around the world really.”