Conor McGregor was just as shocked as the rest of the MMA community by the tragic news of Kobe Bryant’s death yesterday. The NBA legend died in a helicopter crash in Calabasas, California on Sunday morning alongside his 13-year-old daughter, Gianna Bryant, and seven other passengers.
McGregor, who was in Los Angeles yesterday for the 2020 Grammy Awards, said he found it difficult to celebrate on the red carpet after hearing such awful news.
McGregor admitted that NBA has never been too popular in Ireland but says Bryant’s death is a huge loss for the entire sports community.
“It’s very, very sad news,” McGregor said, per MMA Junkie. “It’s iconic that I’m here and he used to play in this arena, as well, right? So just very sad news. (He) lost his daughter, as well. It’s kind of hard to get up for it, for this event. I’m very happy to be here, but I’m sad at the same time. … just a very sad time.
“For me, the first time I ever came to America, Kobe was one of the big stars and one of the men that jumped out,” he added. “We don’t really understand basketball (in Ireland) too much, but Kobe – his star transcends sport, and a great man. I would have loved to meet him. It’s a very sad day.”
Bryant, who was a partner with UFC sponsor BodyArmour, died at just 41-years-old. The NBA champion leaves behind his wife Vanessa, along with his daughters, Natalia, Bianka and Capri.