FAYETTEVILLE – Arkansas men’s head coach Eric Musselman and men’s assistant coach Clay Mosier, both former NBA coaches where the Kobe Bryant starred for the Los Angeles Lakers as one of basketball’s greatest players, paid tribute to Bryant Sunday afternoon upon learning of Bryant’s Sunday death in a helicopter crash.
“Kobe had as much impact on the game of basketball as any player in the history of the NBA,” Musselman, the former NBA head coach with Golden State and Sacramento, said. “He is one of the all-time great competitors. This is one of the saddest days for the basketball world I can ever remember. Our thoughts and prayers are with Kobe’s wife, his daughters and his family.”
Moser formerly held several administrative and coaching positions with the Lakers from 2011-2019
“Kobe’s basketball career and ongoing cultural influence go without saying,” Moser said. “ I always judged him as to how he treated my family. He was always gracious and kind to them. My five years with him was the best and most educational time of my life. Thank you and RIP ‘Two-Four.”
Arkansas women’s coach Mike Neighbors, after his Razorbacks defeated Florida Sunday, said Bryant made a special effort promoting the Women’s National Basketball Association and women’s basketball after he retired from the NBA.
“The last five years he’s one of the leading male athletes promoting the importance of women’s sports,” Neighbors said. “Nobody in the NBA has done more than he has done. Our kids were equally hit hard knowing his daughter (also perishing) was on the flight, too.”
Arkansas women’s guards A’Tyanna Gaulden said she cried at halftime learning of the fatal crash.