Kobe Bryant said that he had a “comfortable” relationship with death in an interview that resurfaced after he unexpectedly died in a helicopter crash.

The former Los Angeles Lakers player opened up about coming to accept the inevitability of death in a 2016 interview with The Ringer.

When asked what his relationship was with death, the NBA legend replied that it was “a comfortable one”

“It’s an understanding,” Bryant said. “You can’t have life without death. Can’t have light without the dark. So it’s an acceptance of that.”

Bryant said he was forced to confront his mortality while grappling with whether to retire in his 2016 season.

“When it came time to decide whether or not I should retire, [it was] really an acceptance of that mortality that all athletes face,” he said. “And if you combat it, you’ll always have that inner struggle within yourself. … So … I’m comfortable with it.”

The 41-year-old was killed alongside his daughter, Gianna, and seven others when their helicopter crashed in Calabasas, Calif., on Sunday.

The National Transportation Safety Board is investigating the cause of the crash.

On Sunday, just two hours before the crash, Bryant and his 13-year-old daughter, Gianna, attended 7am Catholic Mass and received Communion at the Cathedral of Our Lady Queen of the Angels in Newport Beach, a church spokesman confirmed to the Daily Mail.

After leaving the house of God, Bryant and Gianna boarded a Sikorsky S-76B with the other occupants at John Wayne Airport in Santa Ana at 9:06 a.m.

Less than an hour later, in foggy conditions, the chopper crashed in the hilly terrain of Calabasas.

Bishop Timothy Freyer, of Bryant’s diocese, mourned the nine fatalities in a heartfelt Facebook post on Monday.

SOURCE : New York Post