But while former Los Angeles Lakers star Bryant's hidden anecdotes mostly have to do with what a competitive psychopath he is, the tales of Lynch—the beastly runner who was painted by the football press as difficult and standoffish—almost all revolve around what an awesome dude he is.
Seattle Times reporter Jayson Jenks compiled tales of Lynch's graciousness, the most moving of which involves the family of former Seahawks receiver Ricardo Lockette. In 2015, Lockette suffered a neck injury during a punt return that eventually forced him to retire. After the incident, Lynch was there for Lockette and his family at the hospital.
Here's the whole story:
“We were in there with Ricardo and everything was in a sad mode,” said Earl Lockette Sr., Ricardo’s dad. “A nurse comes up and says, ‘We don’t know much about football, Mr. Lockette, but there’s a guy outside who says he needs to be in here. He says he plays with Ricardo, and his name is Marshawn Lynch.’ I go to the lobby, and Marshawn has his bags. He said, ‘I knew it was more than what they told me when I saw him go down. I knew it was more severe than that and I could not leave him here.’
“What Ricardo didn’t know is that Marshawn peeked in the room and saw he was in there, in the bed, strapped down, couldn’t move, and he cried like a baby. Marshawn did. I won’t tell you everything he did, but he took a couple steps back and soaked those tears up, and he went in there and made my son feel like he could run and jump.
“And then on top of that, we didn’t know nothing about nothing. He asked us, ‘How long are you guys going to be here?’ We said, ‘We don’t know. Until he gets up and walks again, we’re not leaving.’ He said” ‘I’ve got you guys. You don’t have to worry about anything.’ When I say he meant that, he really did. He took care of us for a period of time to make sure we didn’t have to worry about getting places, transportation, anything. He did that.”
If a flood of tears hasn't already rendered your eyes useless, you're going to want to read the rest of these. You can do so here.