Pillar of Red Sox, long a Lakers fan, names daughter 'Kobie'

Sat Feb 15 10:00am ET

In this June 17, 2010, file photo, Los Angeles Lakers guard Kobe Bryant react as in the final second of Game 7 of the NBA basketball finals against the Boston Celtics in Los Angeles. Bryant was one of eight finalists announced Friday, Feb. 14, 2020, as candidates for enshrinement into the Basketball Hall of Fame later this year, a decision that came as absolutely no surprise in his first year of eligibility. (AP Photo/Mark J. Terrill, File)


In this Feb. 23, 2007, file photo, Los Angeles Lakers' Kobe Bryant, top, goes up for a shot between Boston Celtics' Paul Pierce, left, and Al Jefferson during the first half of an NBA basketball game in Los Angeles. Bryant was one of eight finalists announced Friday, Feb. 14, 2020, as candidates for enshrinement into the Basketball Hall of Fame later this year, a decision that came as absolutely no surprise in his first year of eligibility. (AP Photo/Branimir Kvartuc, File)


FORT MYERS, Fla. (AP) New Boston Red Sox outfielder Kevin Pillar grew up in the Los Angeles area as a Lakers fan and named his daughter “Kobie,” after Kobe Bryant.

He said he was most impressed with what Bryant has done after he retired from the NBA. Pillar said he hopes to write a children's book about baseball like the one Bryant wrote about basketball, but he was waiting until his playing career is over to approach Bryant about it.

“That's something that's going to haunt me,” Pillar said.

Bryant died in a helicopter crash Jan. 26 with his 12-year-old daughter, Gianna, and seven other people. Pillar said he was at a park with his wife and daughter when he saw a tweet reporting the news, but he couldn't believe it at first.

“I'll have that memory as long as I live," he said.

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