Tiger Woods Learned of Kobe Bryant’s Death Minutes After Finishing a Round of Golf

“It’s a shocker to everyone,” the golf legend says

Tiger Woods talking about Kobe Bryant
PGA Golf

Tiger Woods didn’t understand why the fans at the Farmers Insurance Open were telling him to “do it for Mamba.” It wasn’t until the golf star finished his round that he learned the news — Kobe Bryant had died in a helicopter crash.

“It’s a shocker to everyone,” Woods said in an interview just five minutes after he was told of Bryant’s passing. “Unbelievably sad, one of the more tragic days.”

Woods, a lifelong Lakers fan, was also asked what he’d remember most about Kobe as a player, as a man, and as a father.

“The fire, he burns so competitively hot, and desire to win,” Woods began. “He brought it each and every night on both ends of the floor. Not too many guys can say that throughout NBA history. He’d lock up on D, obviously he was dominant of the offensive side. But anytime he was in the game, he’d take on their best player and shut them down for all 48 minutes. That was one of the more impressive things throughout his entire career. And then when he ruptured his Achillies and went to the foul line and made his shots. I mean, that’s tough.”

According to the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department, nine people died in a helicopter crash in Calabasas, California, that killed the former Lakers star and eight others. Bryant’s 13-year-old daughter Gianna was reportedly one of the people on board.

During his 20-year career with the Lakers, Bryant won five NBA championships. Two years ago, he shared an Oscar with animator Glen Keane for the animated short “Dear Basketball.”

An investigation into the crash is still ongoing.