Tom Brady pens emotional essay on 'superhero' Kobe Bryant: 'I have been deeply affected'


A day after a celebration of life and memorial was held for Kobe Bryant and his daughter, Gianna, New England Patriots quarterback Tom Brady revealed he's still struggling to process their deaths.

"I have been deeply affected by the passing of Kobe, Gigi and the others in that tragic flight weeks ago," the six-time Super Bowl champion and father of three began a brief essay on Instagram on Tuesday, which he titled, "What's really important?"

Kobe, Gianna and seven others were killed in a helicopter crash in Calabasas, California, on January 26. Brady wrote that since the tragic accident, the "outpouring of love and support for the families" has helped him to "reflect and gain perspective" on his own life.

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"Why has this touched me in the way that it did?" Brady wrote, accompanied by a photo of the elder Bryant kissing his daughter on the head. "Why has it kept me up at night, and brought me so many tears?"

Brady went on to discuss the role sports play in the lives of athletes, and how Bryant was excelling in his "second chapter" as a father, husband and mentor, a sentiment shared by many since his death.

"I think that's why I will miss him most," Brady said. "Because we all know the world needs more of that leadership and positivity."

Brady's career and life have mirrored Bryant's in several ways, with Brady's six rings to Bryant's five, and both athletes playing (at least) 20 seasons in their respective leagues. Their paths had naturally crossed previously, and Brady honored Bryant on the day of his death with a photo from an interaction at the 2010 NBA Finals between Bryant's Los Angeles Lakers and the Boston Celtics.

"If there is anything I have learned and been inspired by through this tragic event, it is this," Brady ended his thoughts on Tuesday. "SEIZE THE DAY. That's what Kobe always did, and that's what he wanted for us too."