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Kobe Bryant’s death discussed by LeBron, Shaq in Hulu docuseries

Kobe Bryant’s death discussed by LeBron, Shaq in Hulu docuseries
“Legacy: The True Story of the LA Lakers" is a 10-part docuseries on Hulu. (Courtesy: Hulu)

LOS ANGELES (BVM) – Kobe Bryant’s tragic death was discussed in Episode 10 of the Hulu docuseries, “Legacy: The True Story of the L.A. Lakers” released on Monday. Several Lakers legends, including LeBron James and Shaquille O’Neal, got emotional in their exclusive interviews regarding Kobe’s death. 

Kobe Bryant's death
Kobe Bryant retired from the NBA in 2016 following a legendary 20-year career with the Los Angeles Lakers. News of his sudden death in a helicopter crash on Jan. 26, 2020 shocked the world. (Credit: Robert Hanashiro-USA TODAY Sports)

LeBron, in his interview, brought up the final tweet that Kobe ever made. Kobe’s last tweet was made on Jan. 25 to LeBron – after LeBron passed Kobe to become the third all-time leading scorer in NBA history. 

“One thing a lot of people don’t know and this is the first time I ever told anybody – he (Kobe) sent me a bottle of wine,” LeBron said. “A 1984 La Tache with a handwritten note. And it’s in my wine cellar hung up. It’s the only bottle that won’t be drank in my cellar.”

Shaq also shared in his interview a lesser-known and heart-breaking story about Bryant. 

“You know, I didn’t even have his (Kobe’s) number,” Shaq said. “I don’t call nobody. It’s not the right attitude to have, but it’s the attitude I always have. But if you have to say that after the fact, it’s something that you always live with. 

“But the fact that I couldn’t say what’s up or I’ll never be able to do that again – that’ll haunt me.” 

Shaquille O'Neal on Kobe Bryant
Shaquille O’Neal. (Credit: Daniel Karr/Hulu)

Both Shaq and LeBron, as well as other Lakers stars and legends, recalled the moment they found out that Kobe died. It’s been widely known that the Lakers were exhausted as they were traveling back from Philadelphia after the game where LeBron broke Kobe’s record. 

“I started getting calls and I’m pressing end because I’m trying to sleep,” Dwight Howard said. “And people kept calling my phone.” 

Anthony Davis expressed in his interview that he was the first person to tell LeBron that Kobe died. 

“Bron’s knocked out. And I’m, ‘Bron, Bron,’” started Davis. “Bron wakes up, I said ‘Bro, Kobe died.’ And he said the same as I said, ‘Kobe who?’ I’m like, ‘Kobe Bryant. Him, Gigi.’ He was like, ‘Man, stop playing.’” 

LeBron commented on the atmosphere that settled as the news made its way around the plane of Lakers players. 

“Anthony looked like someone pulled his soul from him,” LeBron said. “Nobody had their color. And we all just broke down in tears. That was one of the longest flights I’ve ever been on.” 

Notably, Vanessa Bryant, the widow of Kobe, did not speak in an interview about Kobe’s death. Vanessa gave an interview talking about Kobe’s life in previous episodes, but reasonably, Kobe’s death is still an open wound. After all, she learned about the death of her husband after seeing “RIP Kobe” notifications on her phone. 

Lakers’ postseason dedicated to Kobe 

“I knew after that moment, we were going to win a championship, I knew we were,” LeBron said in his exclusive interview on Kobe’s death.

But, the untimely events of the 2020 NBA season continued to pack on with the spread of COVID-19. The 30-day suspension of NBA games gave members of the organization some time to mourn. 

“I went home and I just had some time to really grieve, you know, for Kobe and that situation,” Howard said. 

“This was a very painful time period for me,” Lakers owner Jeanie Buss said. “I lost my mother in mid-December, and then we lost Kobe Bryant shortly afterward. Some days you just felt like I can’t – how am I gonna get out of bed?”

The season inevitably started up again and Davis, in his interview, brought up the poetic, Kobe-related moment from Game 2 of the 2020 Western Conference Finals. That moment refers to when Davis shouted “Kobe” after he made the game-winning shot. 

“I never thought about if I hit a game-winner, [would I] do something crazy – Kobe, like it literally just happened,” Davis said. “Kobe just came out.”

The season nonetheless had a perfect ending in Kobe’s name as the Lakers won the 2020 NBA Championship for the first time in 10 seasons.