ISAIAH Thomas has revealed his heartbreak after being unable to send a Father's Day message to late NBA great Kobe Bryant this year.
The ex-Washington Wizards point-guard – who is currently a free agent – told of how he would message “father figure” and mentor Bryant every year to mark the annual celebration.
He revealed how the late LA Lakers icon would immediately respond to him.
In an emotional tweet on Sunday, Thomas wrote: “I would always text Kobe on Father’s Day and he would respond right back. #RIP.”
Thomas is no stranger to family loss himself.
While in preparation for the Boston Celtics’ opening-round playoff series against the Chicago Bulls in 2017, his sister Chyna died in a fatal car crash.
NBA All-Star Bryant was tragically involved in a helicopter accident earlier this year, which killed nine people including him and his 13-year-old daughter Gigi.
Bryant and his daughter were on their way to a youth basketball tournament when the aircraft crashed in Calabasas on January 26.
They died alongside college baseball coach John Altobelli, his wife Keri, and their daughter Alyssa, Christina Mauser, a coach at Mamba Sports Academy, passengers Sarah and Payton Chester and Zobayan.
Bryant acted as a mentor for Thomas as he rose through the ranks in the professional NBA league.
Shortly after learning of Bryant’s death, Thomas told the Washington Post: “He’s meant everything to me.
“I started basketball because of Kobe Bryant. So it’s like — I just had talked to him last week.
“I mean, he’s the greatest of all time in life and in basketball. That’s how much I looked up to him.
“His legacy is going to live forever, but this [death] was a dent in everybody’s life that he’s touched, for sure.”
Meanwhile, the NBA superstar’s wife, Vanessa Bryant, 38, shared a touching tribute to her late husband on the family’s first Father’s Day after his tragic death.
She shared a family photo on Instagram, saying Bryant was the “best daddy in the world.”
Vanessa wrote: “Happy Father's Day to the BEST daddy in the world. We miss you so much. We love you forever and always. Love Nani, Gigi, BB, Koko and VB.”
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