Celebs Who Broke Down On Live TV Over Kobe Bryant's Death
The news of Kobe Bryant's
deathshook the world, leaving basketball fans, former teammates, and fellow celebrities reeling from the sudden shock. The 41-year-old Bryant and his 13-year-old daughter, Gianna, were among nine people who died Sunday, January 26, when the helicopter they were traveling in crashed in mountainous terrain in Calabasas, California. Bryant leaves behind his wife, Vanessa, and three other daughters. After news of Bryant's
deathwas made public, celebrities took to social media to share their sentiments about the retired Los Angeles Lakers star. Other celebrities reflected on Bryant's life as they attended the Grammy Awards, which were held the same day as the crash in the Staples Center aka "the House that Kobe Built." “God bless his soul, and his daughter, and everyone who was on the helicopter.
Man, it just makes you think about people in the world. And we love him.” Details are still emerging, but it's clear that countless fans were impacted by this sudden loss of life. In fact, some notable figures
livetelevision when they spoke about Bryant's untimely passing. Tonight Show host Jimmy Fallon kicked off his show the night after Kobe Bryant's death by sharing a personal story about meeting the pro baller at a party in Los Angeles when he was just 21 and Bryant was 17. They were both rookies in their respective fields Fallon in standup comedy;
Bryant in the NBA. "I said like 'Hey, what do you do?' And he goes 'I play basketball.' I go, uh, 'Where?' He says, 'For the Lakers." I go, "Wow." Fallon revealed that he and Bryant went on a memorable beer run during the party, and it was Bryant's basketball credentials that convinced a salesperson to hook them up with the booze and save the party. Of course, both Fallon and Bryant went on to wildly successful careers, and Fallon paid tribute to his friend's legendary record: Five NBA titles, two Olympic gold medals, 18 All-Star appearances, and the undying respect of his athletic peers.
Fighting back tears, Fallon talked about how he and Bryant would reflect on that party whenever they ran into each other. "We'd laugh at all the good things that had happened since, and we'd laugh at how much fun it was to raise kids." Fallon also expressed his shock at Kobe's unexpected death, saying, "Kobe was such a life force, so strong and creative and inspired that in my head I thought that he was going to
liveforever," He closed his monologue with a challenge to honor Bryant by following the athlete's example. "Let's honor Kobe, Gianna, and the other lives that were lost yesterday by following his example.
Love your family, love your teammates, and outwork everyone else in the gym." Sports analyst and former Chicago Bulls player Jay Williams looked back on his relationship with Kobe Bryant on an episode of SportsCenter. Williams was visibly shaken as he spoke about Bryant's legacy, noting that it's easy to lose sight of who people really are in the fast-paced landscape of press and sports. "His innate character, his being. his spirit... was incredible." The former point guard went on to talk about his experience meeting Kobe during his own rookie season in the NBA. Williams said he was in a slump, and had arrived at the Staples Center early to practice before the game.
Kobe was already in there working hard, and he was still there practicing hard as Williams got ready to leave. According to Williams, Bryant said, "I wanted you to know that no matter how hard you worked, you weren't going to outwork me." Williams urged listeners to treasure every second of their lives. "There was something so damn uplifting about him. It just made you want to be better in every aspect of your life because that's who he was." Los Angeles Clippers Coach Doc Rivers had an especially emotional reaction when he was asked about the death of Kobe Bryant.
Rivers, who led the Boston Celtics to an NBA Championship victory against Bryant's L.A. Lakers in 2008, was getting ready to coach a game when asked to share his thoughts. Tears streamed down Rivers' face as he struggled for words. "I just don't have a lot to say. The news is just devastating to everybody who knew him." Rivers did find the words to discuss Bryant's basketball legacy, calling him a great opponent -- the kind of opponent you want in sports. "He had that DNA that very few athletes can ever have. The Tiger Woods and the Michael Jordans..."
Rivers said he and Bryant had talked at length just weeks before his death, reminiscing about past games, but Williams said Bryant was the happiest he'd ever seen him as a retired player doing big things for others. The coach closed by discussing Bryant's lasting impact on his life. "We're all Lakers today," he said. "...Sometimes the more you compete, the more respect you have for the opponent. I would say that's the way I felt with Kobe."