Kobe Bryant’s farewell tour stopped in San Antonio for a Saturday night battle against the Spurs. Head coach Gregg Popovich, having battled Bryant on seemingly countless occasions, knows better than most what the NBA will miss when Bryant finally leaves for good at the conclusion of the 2015-16 season.
Popovich recorded a heartfelt message lauding Bryant and his accomplishments, shared by Ananth Pandian of CBS Sports:
Gregg Popovich with a nice heartfelt message to Kobe Bryant in the Spurs’ video tribute pic.twitter.com/goYsUnxxbB
— AP (@Ananth_Pandian) February 7, 2016
Though Popovich is known for his emotionless and dry interviews on the court, his message to Bryant was as genuine and warm as they come.
“I hope you’re as successful in your next life as you’ve been in your first one,” Popovich said. “Good luck to you, man.”
There is a reason Popovich is so revered. Not only is he a hard taskmaster who demands the most out of his players, but he also possesses one of the biggest hearts out there.