Manny Pacquiao, left and Kobe Bryant seen during the 2008 Beijing Olympics. (File Photo)

Manny Pacquiao, left and Kobe Bryant seen at the 2008 Beijing Olympics. (File Photo)

Sometime in the fall of 2011, Kobe Bryant came up to see Manny Pacquiao train at the Wild Card Boxing Club in Hollywood as his then Nike co-endorser was getting ready to face Juan Manuel Marquez for a third time.

They had met previously when Pacquiao served as flag-bearer for the Philippines during the 2008 Beijing Olympics and Bryant starred for the US team that won gold.

During that particular visit to the Wild Card, Bryant sat on a padded bench and watched Pacquiao spar seven rounds and do the mitts for six before leaving.

Bryant, who perished with her 13-year-old daughter in a helicopter crash on Sunday, was obviously mesmerized seeing Pacquiao spend his day training.

“I wasn’t even sure how many punches he was throwing, I just heard them,” Bryant told after spending about an hour-and-a half at the famed sweat shop on Vine Street.

Bryant left the Wild Card at 3:30 pm before Pacquiao had finished his pad work but they bumped into each other again when Bryant and a bevy of other NBA stars went to Manila for a goodwill game.

Shortly after Bryant shocking death, Pacquiao, who is also 41 years old like the NBA all-time great, went to social media to express his condolences.

“The world lost a legend today but the impact and legacy he leaves behind will last forever,” wrote Pacquiao as the Philippines woke up to the news of Bryant’s passing.

Source: Manila Bulletin