Saquon Barkley is in attendance for Saturday night's NFL Honors ceremony in Miami, Fla.
The Giants running back walked the red carpet for the event sporting a Los Angeles Lakers jacket, which he explained was a nod to the late Kobe Bryant.
"I wanted to respect Kobe and pay my respects to Kobe," Barkley told Bleacher Report. "Jack Hamilton, the guy who made this, it's actually an original jacket from 2000 year when he won an NBA championship. You know me well, and everyone who knows me well knows how much Kobe meant to me. My people were able to pull some strings for me. It's sad to see him go, but not only with tonight do I want to represent him, but I also want to pay my respects with the rest of my career."
Kobe Forever 💛💜 pic.twitter.com/nqdvCei9XT- Saquon Barkley (@saquon) February 1, 2020
Earlier this week, Barkley told reporters in Miami for Super Bowl LIV how much of an inspiration Bryant was in his life, and he reiterated that again on Saturday, despite the fact that he never had the chance to meet him in person.
"I would probably just be annoying him, cause I would ask him a lot of questions. There are so many things that I wanted to ask him," said Barkley. "Obviously, it's easy to say now that I would say thank you, but I also want to say thank you because, not to take anything away from my parents, but he really had a big impact on how I became today, and the player I am today, and the man I hope to be."
Like Bryant, Barkley is a 'Girl Dad,' a trending hashtag as of late, following a story ESPN's Elle Duncan shared about Bryant's love for his four daughters.
With Bryant and his 13-year-old daughter Gianna both tragically passing away in last Sunday's helicopter accident, Barkley explained that being a 'Girl Dad' means everything to him.
"I know everyone is saying 'Girl Dad' and that's why it definitely hit a little harder for me," Barkley said. "You know my little girl Jada. When that happened, I just wanted to pick up the phone and call Jada and let her know I love her, because this life is too short. You've got to take advantage of the opportunities that you have."