The recent memorial at Staples Center allowed loved ones and fans to relive the legendary Laker’s life, but it hasn’t stopped other sports enthusiasts from continuing to pay homage. That includes Lil Wayne who was a friend of Bryant’s and often compared his stature in the rap game to Bryant’s on-court domination. In a recent interview with MTV‘s Jamila Mustafa, Wayne spoke on how much he admired Kobe’s intense work ethic and how much of a fighter he was.
“As a kid, being a fan, watching him on TV, and going to a game and just not knowing him at all—and just being a super fan and knowing, ‘Wow he’s really that person off the court in every situation in life.’ He really has that mentality, just relentless in everything and he strives to be the best in everything. It’s impossible to have a conversation with him and walk away from that conversation not trying to be better at something,” Wayne said.
The Young Money rapper even opened up about his favorite personal story and memory of the Black Mamba.
“Just being able to sit down and talk to him about life,” he reminisced. “Seeing that… as a kid, being a fan, watching him on TV and going to a game and just not knowing him at all—and just being a super fan and knowing, ‘Wow he’s really that person off the court in every situation in life.’”
The Louisiana born rapper, who is known to be a huge sports fan, made sure to he paid his respects on his most recent album, Funeral too. There’s a 24-second moment of silence at the end of track No. 8 “Bing James” — a nod to one of Bryant’s jersey numbers.