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Tyra Banks Recalls Telling 17-Year-Old Kobe Bryant About Los Angeles and Collaborating on Song 'K.O.B.E.'

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By Yuriy Andriyashchuk

Kobe Bryant and his daughter Gianna's memorial took place at the STAPLES Center in Los Angeles. It was a day of sadness but at the same time, it was one for people all around the world to reflect on how Kobe and Gianna impacted their lives. Tyra Banks came through to Power 105.1's The Breakfast Club this week as well and discussed how it's been years since the two spoke but reminisced on when she first met him in LA.

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When Bryant first arrived in Los Angeles after being traded for by the Lakers in the draft, Banks' friend wanted her to help him get to know the city. She ended up giving the future Hall of Famer her number in case she ever needed anything.

"He sits on my couch and I just school him on LA - what to look out for and 'here's my number if you ever need anything,'" Banks recalled. "So to me whenever I saw him, I just saw that 17-year-old kid in my eyes."

Gettyimages | Ian Tuttle

Both Banks and Kobe ended up being huge stars in LA and ran into each other at the Nickelodeon Kid's Choice Awards. Bryant wanted to be a rapper as well so the two collaborated on the song "K.O.B.E." She regrets doing somewhat of a "baby voice" on the chorus of the song but still thinks it's an overall solid record. Strangely enough, they went on to perform the song at the 2000 NBA All-Star Game. It's a forgetten record now but DJ Envy played it during the interview for old times's sake.

Gettyimages | Christian Petersen

Banks also became one of the top models in the world and starred in television shows such as "The Tyra Banks Show," "The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air," and "America's Next Top Model." Bryant became one of the best NBA players ever and may be the closest thin we've seen to Michael Jordan. He won five championships, was an 18x All-Star, an MVP, 2x NBA Finals MVP, 9x All-NBA Defensive First Team, 2x Olympic Gold Medalist, and won two NBA scoring titles.

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Bryant's memorial service at STAPLES Center in Los Angeles on Monday which also honored his daughter Gianna was emotional for everyone. The two died in a helicopter crash on January 26 in Calabasas, CA. It included seven others which had Gianna's basketball teammates on board. They were all going to the Mamba Sports Academy for a game that Bryant was going to coach. Bryant's wife Vanessa has since filed a lawsuit against the company who owned the helicopter as she cited negligence.

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