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

Tributes from Browns following death of former NBA superstar hit social media

Daryl Ruiter
January 26, 2020 - 4:34 pm
Baker mayfield

(Photo by Jason Miller/Kirk Irwin/Getty Images)

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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.

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

Words are not enough to express our sadness. Monique and I send our deepest condolences to the Bryant family and the families of those on board. An unspeakable tragedy...

A post shared by Jim Brown (@jimbrown) on

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. 

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