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Jimmy Fallon Remembers Kobe Bryant

Jimmy Fallon Remembers Kobe Bryant
-The world was heartbroken yesterday by a helicopter accident in Los Angeles that claimed the lives of nine people, including that of Kobe Bryant and his 13-year-old daughter Gianna. Kobe was such a life force, so strong and creative and inspired that in my head, I thought that he was going to live forever. I met Kobe when he was 17 and I was 21. He was a rookie on the Lakers, and I was just starting out in the comedy scene in L.A. We were at a party, and we didn't know anyone the party, so we just started talking.
jimmy fallon remembers kobe bryant
And I said, like, "Hey, what do you do?" And he goes, "I play basketball." I go, "Where?" And he goes, "For the Lakers." I go, "Wow." He goes, "What do you do?" I go, "I'm a stand-up comic." We just got along, we hit it off, started talking. He was telling me he was into poetry, and I met his sister. She was there. And so, then, the guy that was having the party said, "Hey, guys, who wants to make a beer run?"
jimmy fallon remembers kobe bryant

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And Kobe wasn't drinking. He was 17. So he goes, "I'll do it." He goes, "Jimmy, you want to come?" So I go, "Okay." So, I get in the car, it was me and Kobe Bryant. And we -- he's brand-new in L.A., and me too. I didn't know L.A. at all. And we drive down Sunset Boulevard to this place called Pink Dot. It looked like a 7-Eleven. Well, I thought it was a 7-Eleven. You pulled in. And -- But it wasn't a 7-Eleven. Anyway, so I go in, and I open the door and it's locked.
jimmy fallon remembers kobe bryant
And the guy goes, "Sorry, I can't sell you anything." And I go, "We just want to get some beer right there." And he goes, "Yeah, I can't do that." And I go, "But just real quick, we know what it is. It's just there." And he goes, "Yeah, that's not how -- the way this place works. We're delivery only. We're not allowed to sell things." And I go, "Uh, okay." And then Kobe takes out his I.D. and he puts it up against the glass and he goes, "I'm a Laker."
jimmy fallon remembers kobe bryant
And the guy opened the door, and we walked out with five cases of beer and we saved the party. So we saved the party, we say good night, and of course Kobe went on to become a legend. Five NBA titles, two Olympic gold medals, 18 All-Star appearances. One of the most brilliant and most respected players in NBA history. And when we'd run into each other over the years, we'd laugh about that night that we first met. 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 and all the stupid mistakes we made trying to figure out how to be good dads.
And Kobe had four daughters, and I had two daughters. And today, he and one of his girls are gone. But I think I knew Kobe enough to know that he rose to any challenge by digging deeper and getting back to work. So 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. To Vanessa and all those affected by this tragedy, we love you and will always be there for all of you. Kobe, when we meet again, we're going on a beer run.