The NBA is still struggling with the shock of the death of Kobe Bryant. There was an outpour of tribute from sports personalities around the world in the wake of the tragedy. The latest to join that chorus is American rapper Jay-Z.
Speaking at Columbia University earlier this week, Jay-Z revealed that Kobe Bryant was a guy that looked up to him, according to a video shared by Roc Nation Sports. Jay-Z then went on to say that he had hung out with Kobe Bryant a number of times, the last such occasion being the New Year’s celebrations.
“He was just in the greatest space that I’ve seen him in,” Jay-Z was quoted as saying by Roc Nation. The American rapper also revealed a heartwarming detail from his last conversation with Kobe Bryant. Jay-Z said that one of his final conversations with the Lakers legend was about his 13-year-old Gianna. In the conversation, Jay-Z said Kobe Bryant’s last words to him were, ‘You’ve gotta see Gianna play basketball.’ “And that was one of the most hurtful things, because he was so proud. And the look on his face was like — I looked at him and said, ‘Oh, she’s going to be the best female basketball player in the world.' He was just so proud,” he said. “So that’s really a tough one.”
Kobe Bryant will be paid a tribute during the NBA’s All-Star game this month. As part of the tribute, LeBron James’ Western Conference team will wear the No. 2 jersey in honour of Gianna Bryant. Giannis Antetokounmpo’s Eastern Conference All-Stars will wear No. 24 jerseys, in a tribute to Kobe Bryant.