Bill Belichick issues statement on death of Kobe Bryant

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By Matt Dolloff,

Patriots head coach Bill Belichick has issued a statement on the passing of NBA legend Kobe Bryant, via ESPN's Field Yates.

"This is an extremely sad time for the entire sports community," Belichick's statement begins. "In my 45 years in the NFL, I have never witnessed a group as captivated as the day Kobe addressed our team [in 2018]. The respect and reverence he commanded far exceeded him being a legendary player. He was a special person with an unmatched passion, intensity and mentality toward achieving his goals."

Read the full statement from Yates' Twitter page.

Field Yates on Twitter

Patriots head coach Bill Belichick shares some thoughts on Kobe Bryant, with whom he had developed a unique friendship and respect for.

It's no surprise that Belichick and Tom Brady would hold Bryant in such high regard as a player and person. His famous competitiveness would have fit right in with Brady and Belichick's over the course of their run with the Patriots.

Bryant visited the Pats during OTAs in May 2018. It became a more special visit when the team went on to win the Super Bowl that same season.

Belichick's statement is the latest in a long line of tributes pouring in for Bryant, who died Sunday in a helicopter crash at age 41. It's the kind of monumental tragedy that has crossed sports, industries, and cultures.

Matt Dolloff is a digital producer for Any opinions expressed do not necessarily reflect those of 98.5 The Sports Hub, Beasley Media Group, or any subsidiaries. Have a news tip, question, or comment for Matt? Follow him on Twitter @mattdolloff or email him at [email protected].