On Tuesday night (February 4), while speaking at Columbia University, Jay-Z opened up about his relationship with the Lakers legend.
“So Kobe was a guy that looked up to me,” he said, according to a video shared by Roc Nation Sports. Hov added that he had spent time with Bryant “multiple times,” most recently celebrating New Year’s together at his house.
“He was just in the greatest space that I’ve seen him in,” the rapper and business mogul said, adding that one of his last conversations with Kobe was about his daughter Gianna and her skills on the basketball court.
“One of the last things he said to me was, ‘you’ve gotta see Gianna play basketball,’” he remembered. “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,” Jay added. “So that’s really a tough one. My wife and I took [their deaths] … really tough. That’s all I’ll say on that. Just a great human being and was in a great space in his life.”
Shortly after Kobe and Gianna’s tragic passing, Beyoncé shared throwback photos of Kobe and Gianna on her Instagram account. Subsequently, she shared a photo of father and daughter, writing, “I will continue to diligently pray for your Queens. You are deeply missed beloved Kobe.”
Kobe, Gianna, along with seven other people, were killed on January 26 while taking a helicopter to the Mamba Academy for basketball practice in nearby Thousand Oaks. The aircraft crashed in Calabasas and killed everyone on board.