Baker Mayfield: Kobe Bryant was “my idol,” “my hero”

Baker mayfield
Photo credit (Photo by Jason Miller/Kirk Irwin/Getty Images)
By , 92.3 The Fan
CLEVELAND, Ohio (92.3 The Fan) – The news of the tragic death of Kobe Bryant, his 13-year old Gianna Maria and seven others in a helicopter crash Sunday morning rocked the sports world.

Tributes to the 18-time NBA All Star and five-time NBA champion have lit up social media, including from Browns quarterback Baker Mayfield and some of his teammates.

Mayfield posted a statement in tribute to Bryant on his official Instagram account that took up two slides.

“Today is one of the saddest of my life,” Mayfield wrote. “Kobe Bryant was my idol. His mentality and drive were unmatched. His approach to sports and really everything in his life are what I’ve strived to accomplish and what I still hope to accomplish. I had the pleasure of hearing him speak to our team in Denver in 2018 and I still go back to his inspirational words when I’m preparing to take the field.

“My first business acquisition was because of him. His approach was unmatched. He never took ‘No’ for an answer. He’ll be remembered as one of the greatest ever on the court but let’s not forget he was a Dad, a husband, a hero, and a human. My heart truly hurts because he is a family man. Rest in Peace Mamba. Forever my idol, and forever my hero. God bless. #8/24.”

Browns defensive end Myles Garrett also posted a tribute to Bryant on Twitter.

His legacy was not only left in his family, but in ther hearts and minds of all of us who were blessed to be able to watch him grow as a man and a basketball player. Thank you KB, every second of yours was truly a gift.

— Myles "Flash" Garrett ⚡️ (@MylesLGarrett) January 26, 2020

Hall of Fame running back Jim Brown paid tribute to Bryant Sunday night via Instagram.

A post shared by Jim Brown (@jimbrown) on Jan 26, 2020 at 4:46pm PST
As Mayfield mentioned, Bryant spoke to the Browns during a team meeting in Denver on Dec. 14, 2018, the eve of a 17-16 win over the Broncos. It was the first victory for the Browns in Denver since 1990. Mayfield completed 18 of 31 passes for 188 yards with two touchdowns and an interception in the victory. 

Tonight we mourn the loss of a legend in Kobe Bryant and his daughter, Gianna.Our players were touched, inspired and appreciative of the wisdom he shared with us in Dec. of 2018. Our deepest sympathy and condolences go out to the victims of today’s tragedy and their families.

— Cleveland Browns (@Browns) January 27, 2020

Here's a look at how some other players responded Sunday.

The whole world hurt after this one. -- Felt like Kobe touched every last one of us. --

— Mack Wilson (@5mackwilson1) January 26, 2020

Honestly this is so hard to believe.... #RIP

— Joe Schobert (@TheSchoGoesOn53) January 26, 2020

Crazy. Can’t even fathom. Rest In Peace to an a Icon. Prayers out to his family

— Chief David Njoku (@David_Njoku80) January 26, 2020

We love you Kobe!

— Christian Kirksey (@Kirko58) January 27, 2020

Prayers for @kobebryant family #------------------------

— TJ Carrie (@tj_carrie) January 26, 2020

— Damarious Randall (@RandallTime) January 26, 2020

Beyond Sad! #KobeBryantRIP

— JW Johnson (@JDubsIII) January 27, 2020