Preston basketball coach labels Kobe Bryant ‘greatest player ever’

Kobe Bryant played for Los Angeles Lakers for 20 years. PIC: Flickr

A Preston basketball coach has called Kobe Bryant the “greatest player ever” following his death on Sunday morning.

Tributes have poured in over the last 24 hours for the five-time NBA champion who died in a helicopter crash alongside his daughter Gianna in California.

Daniel Farnell, under 18 coach at Preston Pride, paid tribute to the 41-year-old who he believes has left a huge legacy on the sport.

He said: “In my eyes he’s the greatest ever player; he had a lot of aspects of the game that were very relatable to Michael Jordan.

“His work ethic is just completely different and I don’t think anybody could match that mentality he had to play the sport.

“I think that with all sports, you don’t really see many work as hard as what he does on and off the playing field.”

When Daniel started playing basketball at the age of 13, he was told to watch Bryant to help him improve as a player.

He now uses the same advice to try and get the best out of the young players he coaches.

Daniel added: “Everyone looks up to him, from when I was young to kids growing up now.

“Everyone knows about Kobe, everyone does his famous fadeaway shot and says his name as he had a huge impact on everything.”

Bryant’s illustrious career in the sport included making the All-NBA First Team selection 11 times, just one time fewer than record setter LeBron James.

The two-time Olympic gold medallist retired from the game in 2016 and was recognised for his talents off the court two years later when he became an Oscar winner.

A film surrounding his love letter to the sport, “Dear Basketball”, won Best Animated Short Film in 2018.