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Kobe Bryant wanted ‘to die young,’ friend …‘I want to be immortalized and have my career be better than Michael Jordan www.dunk.i.ng

Kobe Bryant wanted ‘to die young,’ friend Tracy McGrady says

Tracy McGrady and Kobe Bryant

Tracy McGrady and Kobe Bryant

NBA Hall of Famer Tracy McGrady opened up about the death of Kobe Bryant, recounting how in the past his friend told him he wanted “to die young.”

McGrady, who retired from the league in 2013, made the stunning revelation Monday on ESPN’s “The Jump.”

“This sounds crazy, but Kobe spoke this, he spoke this,” the 40-year-old shooting guard told host Rachel Nichols, who seemed taken aback.

“He used to say all the time, ‘I want to die young,’ ” he added, while wiping a tear from his face.

Bryant, according to McGrady, would also say, ” ‘I want to be immortalized and, you know, have my career be better than Michael Jordan and I want to die young.’ ”

McGrady said he learned of Bryant’s death Sunday while dancing with his daughter at an event for his wife.

“They came and told me the news and I just couldn’t believe it,” McGrady said. “Just like everybody else, but … I’m devastated.”

Bryant, 41, died Sunday morning, along with his 13-year-old daughter Gianna and seven others, when his chopper crashed in Calabasas on their way to a youth basketball tournament.

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