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See Kobe Bryant's teammate, who lost family in 1993 tragedy, tearfully reflect on grief

"Just try and think of all the joy that he brought you," Brian Shaw implored fans.
/ Source: TODAY

Brian Shaw, one of Kobe Bryant’s former teammates, has some personal insight into how to deal with the passing of the NBA legend.

Shaw, who was on three of the Lakers' teams that won titles with Bryant, lost his parents and his sister in a 1993 car crash. He says it’s imperative to clutch onto the memories as a way to properly grieve the death of the basketball icon, whose daughter, Gianna, also died along with seven others when their helicopter crashed Sunday in Calabasas, California.

“I’ve dealt with a lot of death in my time," he told NBA TV on Sunday. "My family died in a car accident in 1993. One of the things that kept me going is the fact that while they were here, we lived and we made a lot of memories together, and when they’re gone that's all you have, are the memories that you made while they were here."

2001 NBA Finals - Game 4: Los Angeles Lakers vs. Philadelphia 76ers
Shaw, in jersey No. 20, with Bryant, right, at the 2001 NBA Finals. The pair won three titles together as members of the Los Angeles Lakers.Andrew D. Bernstein / Getty Images

“For those Kobe fans that are out there that are feeling like I feel right now, just try and think of all the joy that he brought you ... the championships that he brought that put smiles on your faces. Those are memories that you’re gonna to have to rely on going forward."

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And while the death of the 20-year NBA veteran and 18-time All-Star has shocked the sports community and beyond, Shaw says we must look for the good and appreciate that he was with us, even if it feels like he was taken too soon.

“As sad a moment as it may be right now, we were blessed to have such a talented player to bring us the amount of joy and happiness, especially like I said, for Laker fans and NBA fans as a whole, to have this guy for as long as we did and to be able to witness his greatness on the court," he said.

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"It was a blessing for us to even have him as long as we were able to have him."

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