KEY POINTS

  • Freddie Roach revealed what Manny Pacquiao asked Kobe Bryant during their first encounter
  • Roach thinks Bryant's visit to the gym was the best day in Pacquiao's life
  • Pacquiao paid a touching tribute to Bryant on social media

Hall of Fame trainer Freddie Roach revealed what Manny Pacquiao asked the late NBA legend Kobe Bryant during their epic encounter.

Some fans may not know, but aside from boxing, Pacquiao also loves basketball. In fact, has played the sport professionally and even owns a team in his native country. He is also a huge fan of Bryant, the late Lakers legend who died January 26 in a helicopter crash in Calabasas, California.

During the NBA lockout in 2011, Bryant visited Roach’s Wild Card Boxing Club in West Hollywood, California. Pacquiao was preparing at that time for his third fight against his Mexican rival Juan Manuel Marquez. The scenery was epic as two legendary athletes met face-to-face.

Roach, who was also present during Bryant’s visit will never forget the excitement he witnessed in Pacquiao.

Shortly after Bryant’s death, Roach recalled the day the NBA superstar spent some time with his iconic fighter. In an interview with New York Post, Roach said that Pacquiao “went crazy” when Bryant set foot inside the gym. He also noted that he thinks that it was the “best day in Pacquiao’s life.”

“He (Pacquiao) went crazy when Kobe came in that day. That was unbelievable. It was the best day of his life, I think,” Roach recalled.

Amused with what was happening, Pacquiao set his statutory aside and became a fan of Bryant for the moment. And just like any other privileged fan, the Filipino legend took the opportunity to ask Bryant to give him some basketball tips.

“Manny asked him about basketball and shooting, and how to become a better player. He’s not shy about asking questions. Manny still plays basketball every day. He has an indoor court at his house. He’s a fanatic about basketball. I know losing Kobe is a really great loss to Manny, as well as the whole world,” Roach revealed.

On his official Instagram account, Pacquiao paid a touching tribute to the late NBA legend. He uploaded a three-minute mini movie of the two encounters he had with Bryant. First, was the said visit at the Wild Card Gym in Los Angeles, and second, from when Kobe visited the Philippines for a basketball match.

Despite being a huge Bryant fan, Pacquiao has admitted in the past that Golden State Warriors is his favorite NBA team. And when asked who among the past and present NBA stars could he compare himself to, the eight-division champ answered "Jason Kidd."

Manny Pacquiao WBA welterweight champion Manny Pacquiao looks on during a news conference at MGM Grand Hotel & Casino on January 16, 2019 in Las Vegas, Nevada. Pacquiao will defend his title against Adrien Broner on January 19 at MGM Grand Garden Arena in Las Vegas. Photo: Getty Images/Ethan Miller