Jay-Z Spoke to Kobe Bryant Just 3 Weeks Before NBA Legend's Death

JAY-Z shares the emotional last conversation he had with Kobe Bryant before the basketball player was killed in a January 26 helicopter crash.

While attending a lecture series at Columbia University this week in New York, the “Reasonable Doubt” rapper told the moderator that the NBA legend was at his and wife Beyoncé’s house for New Year’s Eve.

“Kobe was a guy that looked up to me, and we’ve hung out multiple times,” the Roc Nation founder exclaimed. “He was last at my house on New Year’s, and he was just in the greatest space that I’ve seen him in.”

While at the event, Jay said Kobe gushed about his 13-year-old daughter Gianna, who was also killed in the Calabasas tragedy.

“[He said], ‘You’ve gotta see Gianna play basketball,’” the musician recalled. “And that was one of the most hurtful things ‘cause 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… So that’s really a tough one.”

Overall, the MC says he and his wife are absolutely devastated over Kobe and Gianna’s deaths.

“My wife and I took [their deaths]… really tough,” he said. “That’s all I’ll say on that. Just a great human being and [he] was in a great space in his life.”

Last week, Beyoncé paid tribute to the former Los Angeles Laker and his daughter by posting a pic of them on her Instagram page.

“I will continue to diligently pray for your Queens,” she captioned the touching snap. “You are deeply missed beloved Kobe.”

The crash also claimed the lives of Gianna’s basketball teammate Alyssa Altobelli; Alyssa’s father and Orange Coast College baseball coach, John Altobelli; Alyssa’s mother, Keri Altobelli; Harbor Day School basketball coach Christina Mauser; middle school student Payton Chester; Payton’s mother, Sarah Chester; and pilot Ara Zobayan.


More In Real Talk

Real Talk Monday, January 18

A Message from Us to Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.: 'Thank You'

From his selflessness and the confidence to dream to showing love in the midst of hate, we celebrate and pay homage to Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. on his birthday. Plus, from COVID-19 to immigration, we reveal which issues we hope President-elect Joe Biden will take on first.