Jermaine O'Neal

Former Trail Blazers Jermaine O'Neal and Rod Strickland reflect on the life of Kobe Bryant

Former Trail Blazers Jermaine O'Neal and Rod Strickland reflect on the life of Kobe Bryant

The NBA world was shocked early Sunday when news started to circulate that Kobe Bryant had passed away in a horrific helicopter crash. 

It was the type of news that at first, you thought was just a cruel social media joke. You didn't want to believe it. 

But eventually, you had to. 

Reports trickled in from Los Angeles, and eventually, the news was officially confirmed - Kobe Bryant and his daughter Gigi were gone. 

The news was hard to swallow, but fans, friends, and NBA players past and present took to social media to share their grief. 

Prior to Sunday's game against the Pacer, the Blazers held 24 seconds of silence and honored Bryant in a special way once the action got underway. 

Sunday also happened to be 90s night at Moda Center.

Former Trail Blazers Jermaine O'Neal and Rod Strickland were in attendance, both of whom played many games against the Lakers legend. 

Said O'Neal, "It still doesn't seem real and it's hard to digest" as he shared some thoughts about his close friend Bryant.  

Strickland, too, had some fond memories of Bryant, but they had little to do with their on the court battles. 

The former point guard's memories had more to do with the Mamba Mentality. 

The NBA lost a legend on Sunday, and the game just doesn't feel the same without him.