Hearts are still reeling from the tragic loss of sports icon Kobe Bryant, especially those in Los Angeles where the late Lakers behemoth transcended into a globally beloved cultural relic.
Within hours of news that Bryant and his 13-year-old daughter, Gianna Maria-Onore Bryant, as well as seven others had passed away in a helicopter crash, supporters from all walks of life descended upon the Staples Center to find solace in their most cherished memories of Bryant.
For many, news of Bryant’s death has still been hard to bear. In a devastatingly raw interview, West Coast icon Ice Cube opened up about how he’s still coming to terms that his dear friend is gone.
ESPN posted a minute-long clip of Cube’s interview on its official Twitter account Thursday evening (Jan. 28) where he also spoke about the impact that the sports legend’s death has had on the city.
“Kobe is some of the glue that holds LA together,” he acknowledged of the Black Mamba.
When asked who did he text first upon hearing the heartbreaking news, the hip-hop mogul only had one number on his mind.
“Kobe,” he responded. “To see if he would hit me back. When I didn’t get it back, you don’t immediately start to worry because you know it’s Kobe. He always gets back sooner or later.” Though he knew his friend had already died, Cube’s heartache eventually set in.
“I just tossed and turned all night thinking about Vanessa, his daughters, his mother, his father and his sisters, Vanessa’s parents...just everybody in his immediate life who loved him and what they lost,” he continued. “I know what we lost as fans. Me personally, I don’t have too many heroes that’s younger than me and [he] was one of them. It’s profound.”
He then called on people to shroud the Byrant family with their love amid their grief and shock, saying,“I hope the city wraps their arms around the family and embrace them as much as they embraced Kobe because the family is going to need it.”
Longtime supporters of Bryant are heartbroken at Cube’s candid admission.
“I wish he texted back and said he was ok. I wish this never happened, the whole world is in pieces,” one person commented.
Others expressed that they felt the same sense of disbelief when the news of Bryant’s death broke.
“Denial is the first stage and we all felt it,” another user wrote in the post’s comment section.
Listen to Ice Cube’s full remarks in the clip and see fan reactions to his words below.
BET continues to send its love, light and prayers to the Bryant family as well as the families of Christina Mauser, Sarah and Payton Chester, Ara Zobayan, and the Altobelli family during this difficult time.
(Photo: Roy Rochlin/Getty Images)