Justin Timberlake Recalls Last Conversation with Kobe Bryant in Heartfelt Post
Justin Timberlake penned a touching and heartfelt tribute to Kobe Bryant as he recalled their last conversation about the one thing they are both passionate about.
As tributes continue to pour in for the late Kobe Bryant, his longtime friend, Justin Timberlake, took to Instagram to pen his. He wrote alongside a photo slide of him and the deceased,
"… You never stopped aiming to inspire me. Your confidence in me was huge — it really affected me because I admired you so much."
Timberlake went on to recall the last conversation he had with the deceased, adding,
"The last conversation that we shared was about being fathers and what that meant. That was, beyond all the things that we could do in this world, our true legacy."
The two men met when they were teenagers. At the time, Timberlake was a budding artist, and Bryant was already beginning to make his mark as a basketballer.
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LA is the land of opportunity. It’s as big or small as you want it be. What you get out of LA reflects what you put in. It’s the place where you can learn from the greats who came before you. And where you can continue their journey farther. It’s where you leave a legacy for the next generation of LA greats to carry on after you. #sportchangeseverything
The "Mirrors" singer noted that throughout the years he was friends with the deceased, he saw him master his craft, and never backed down from a challenge. He pointed out that the deceased's will to succeed never made him uncompassionate.
Before the aircraft took off, the pilot, Ara Zobayan, called air traffic control for permission to fly in foggy weather.
Bryant had a lot of love for people, his teammates, and his community. Timberlake promised to uphold his legacy and pass it down to others who'll come after them.
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We met when we were both teenagers and bonded over our drive and process. I was in awe of what you could do with a basketball and knew your talent went beyond your physical gifts and stretched to your mentality. A mentality that I would take with me throughout my whole career and still use every day. As the years went by, I watched you do things that seemed humanly unimaginable. And, through ups and downs, championships and injuries, you still remained with an unwavering resolve about your mentality to remain fierce to competition. But, every time we would speak or text, something started to change... your patience and ease grew. And it inspired me to continue to grow for myself. Years passed, and the “old man” jokes would start to be traded back and forth. We both appreciated a good “ribbing.” We joked about “The Vino Club.” You nicknamed yourself ‘Vino’ to represent how one could age gracefully as a fine wine does. But, you never stopped aiming to inspire me. Your confidence in me was huge - it really affected me because I admired you so much. I don’t mean as one of the greatest athletes ever. I mean as a person. People sometimes can confuse a will to win with a lack of compassion. That wasn’t you. You had both qualities. The last conversation that we shared was about being fathers and what that meant. That was, beyond all the things that we could do in this world, our true legacy. Who our children are and what beautiful people they will become. And, I guess right now, without being able to find all the words, THAT father connection is what is most devastating for me. I am sending my love to Vanessa and your family and to the families of everyone connected in the mourning of this terrible tragedy. My heart is broken and my family lifts you up in our thoughts and prayers. Kobe... You have connected so many of us. The Mamba Mentality will last for all of time. I know that will be a source for me every day as it has been for so many days before. Your legacy is with us. It’s our responsibility to pass it down now. I hope I can continue to make you proud, Vino. Champ, MVP, Legend, Hero, Inspiration, Father, Friend. I’m gonna miss you, brother. Mamba forever.
The Grammy-winning singer Timberlake sent his love to Vanessa Bryant, the deceased's wife, and concluded his tribute with,
"I hope I can make you proud, Vino, Champ, MVP, Legend, Hero, Inspiration, Father, Friend. I'm [going to] miss you, brother. Mamba, forever."
Bryant died in a helicopter crash that claimed his life and that of eight other passengers on board, including his daughter, Gianna. The medical examiners made the identification after the collision.
Before the aircraft took off, the pilot, Ara Zobayan, called air traffic control for permission to fly in foggy weather. He got permission, and things went awry after he encountered a cloud layer.
Calling in to inform the air traffic controller about the layer was the last time anyone heard from the pilot. But an eye witness told ABC News that the helicopter spiraled before crashing into a canyon.
Bryant left behind his wife and three children. An insider told People that Vanessa is trying to stay healthy for her children and family.
The deceased's wife is devastated and can't seem to finish a sentence without breaking down in tears. The late NBA star's death continues to impact people around the world, and he will not be forgotten any time soon.