Former WWE superstar Steve Austin spoke about the tragic passing of NBA legend Kobe Bryant on the most recent episode of his Steve Austin Show podcast. The Rattlesnake admits that he's having a hard time processing Bryant's death due to the sudden and unexpected nature of how it happened.
This is a tragic event, which I'm still having a hard time processing, and I'm still thinking about it, and it definitely completely rocked my world along with my wife and everybody worldwide because of the amount of respect, love, and everybody revered Kobe Bryant. And, man, he transcended the sport of basketball, he transcended sports, and he was larger than life." Austin added, "and he truly was a global icon that was loved all over the world.
Austin would then take listeners though his Sunday and reveal how he found out about the former Los Angeles Laker.
Sunday was just an absolutely - man, I don't know - confounding, crazy, weird day," Austin professed. "The announcement of the death of Kobe Bryant and his daughter, Gianna. And my wife and I, Kristen and I, were at the sporting good store and we were going to get some weights for her. And, all-of-a-sudden, I got two text messages: one from my brother and one from a friend of mine here in [Los Angeles, California]. And they said, both of them at the same time, 'hey man, Kobe died?' And I looked at the other, 'Kobe died? Is Kobe dead?' like they're asking me. And my wife is about 10 feet in front of me and I held up my phone just to show her the texts because I couldn't believe it. It's like I got hit in the chest with a sledgehammer. It just took all the wind out of me and I was confused. And I showed her the phone. I said, 'Kobe? Is Kobe dead?'
All-of-a-sudden, we started googling to see what the hell happened. This was around 11:30. We were just shopping and running errands. I guess it happened at 9:47 am California time. And goddang, dude, just all [Sunday] was grey. We were watching all the highlights and stuff like that. And even [Monday], especially being here in Los Angeles, where he was truly a global icon. He transcended basketball. He transcended sports. He was bigger than life and at 41 years of age, after an 18-time NBA All Star career that lasted 20 years and he was recruited as a 17 year old out of high school when he decide to go pro, just unbelievable.
Later...Austin talked about the caliber of athlete Bryan was, and his effect on his generation.
In my opinion, Kobe Bryant was one of those once in a lifetime players. I noticed or knew of him for half of my life and he was all of many people younger than me's life. Even if you're 75 [years old], he was a part of your life. He effected so many generations of people. And the think that I respected about Kobe the most was just the way her carried himself with class and grace. And him doing speeches, the way he articulated the game, his thought process, the way he played basketball, his basketball IQ, it was just off the charts. His talent was through the roof. And probably the defining thing that a lot of people are talking about is just his competitive nature and his willingness to put in the work.
He ends by talking about all the ventures Bryant had going on after basketball.
To have such a successful basketball career for over 20 years," Austin reflected, "then segue into all the media stuff, winning an Oscar… yes! His life was basically… although he lived 41 years, his life was just getting started! To go at 41 years of age, everything that he accomplished and what he would have accomplished, it's really hard to comprehend.