When news broke that Kobe Bryan and his 13-year-old daughter, Gianna — among others — were killed were suddenly killed in a helicopter crash on Sunday, January 26, the world instantly mourned their deaths. Lakers fan Jack Nicholson, a big Lakers fan, opened up in a rare interview about how much he’ll miss the late basketball star.
“My reaction is the same as almost all of L.A.,” he explained to CBS Los Angeles. “Where we think everything’s solid, there’s a big hole in the wall. I was used to seeing and talking to Kobe that … it kills you. It’s just a terrible event.”
Jack, 82, has gone to multiple Lakers game over the years just to watch Kobe play, so it’s understandable he’s been having a hard time dealing with his friend’s tragic and sudden death
“I sat right behind his jump shot on the left-hand side. I can see him going up and I can tell the first instant if it’s going in,” the One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest star remembered. “I remember the totality of how great a player he was … We’ll think of him all the time and we’ll miss him.”
The one thing Jack will never forget is meeting Kobe for the first time. “I teased him the first time we met,” he recalled. “It was at [Madison Square] Garden in New York and I offered him a basketball and asked him if he wanted me to autograph it for him. He looked at me like I was crazy.”
Since Kobe’s death, so many celebrities have paid tribute to the former Lakers player. At the 2020 Grammys, Alicia Keys opened the show by saying a few kind words about the late athlete. “We never imagined in a million years we’d have to start the show like this,” the “No One” singer said.
“To be honest with you, we’re all feeling crazy sadness right now because earlier today Los Angeles, America, and the whole wide world lost a hero,” Alicia added. “And we’re literally standing here heartbroken in the house that Kobe Bryant built.”
Rest in peace, Kobe. You’ll never be forgotten.