“When he retired, we’d work out at Equinox together,” Woods said. “I was always getting up early, he’d get up early, we’d work out. He liked and enjoyed retired life, but he missed being competitive beyond the court and doing what he did, but it was his time.
“We really connected on more the mental side of it, the prep, how much it takes to be prepared. For me, I don’t have to react like he does in my sport, we can take our time. But you’ve still got to pay attention to the details and that’s what he did better than probably any other player in NBA history. He paid attention to the details, the little things.”
Woods didn’t talk about his golf after he closed with a 2-under-par 70 to finish at 9 under and in a tie for ninth. Instead, he added a few more comments on Bryant.
“The fire,” Woods said when asked what he remembered about Bryant. “He burned so competitively hot. He brought it each and every night on both ends of the floor. The hours that he spent in the gym in the offseason and during the summers to work on shots and do all the different things, it looked like it came natural to him on the court during game time, but he spent more hours looking at film and trying to figure out what’s the best way to become better.
“That’s where he and I really connected, because we’re very similar. He came in the league and I turned pro right around the same time and we had our 20-year run together. It’s shocking.
“Life is very fragile as we all know. You can be gone at any given time and we have to appreciate the moments that we have. I just can’t imagine what his family’s going through right now.”