Kobe Bryant had many celebrity friends, tons of which have been sharing their thoughts on the basketball legend’s tragic passing. Jimmy Fallon joined the chorus of remembrances on “The Tonight Show” on Monday.
Instead of doing a normal monologue, Fallon told the story of the first time he met Bryant when he was just 17 years-old and the two were both new to Los Angeles.
“Kobe was such a life force, so strong and creative and inspired that in my head I thought that he would live forever,” Fallon began.
“He was a rookie on the Lakers and I was just starting out on the comedy scene in LA,” he said. “We were at a party and we didn’t know anyone at the party, so we just started talking. I said, ‘Hey what do you do?’ and he said ‘I play basketball’ and I go ‘Where?’ and he goes ‘For the Lakers.’ I go ‘Wow.'”
"Kobe was such a life force, so strong and creative and inspired, that in my head I thought that he was gonna live forever.”
Jimmy Fallon reflects on his friend Kobe Bryant
— Bleacher Report (@BleacherReport) January 28, 2020
“We just got along, we hit it off,” Fallon said. “He was telling me he was into poetry. I met his sister. Then the guy that was having the party said, ‘Hey guys who wants to make a beer run?’ and Kobe wasn’t drinking he was 17, so he goes ‘I’ll do it, Jimmy you want to come?’
“We drive down Sunset Blvd, to this place called Pink Dot. So, I go in and I open the door and it’s locked and the guy goes ‘Sorry, I can’t sell you anything.’ And I go, ‘We just want to get the beer right there’ and he’s like ‘Yeah, I can’t do that. That’s not how this place works. We’re delivery only,'” he recalled. “Kobe then takes out his ID and puts it up against the glass and he goes ‘I’m a Laker’ and the guy opened the door and we walked away with five cases of beer and we saved the party.”
Fallon went on to recall that every time they saw each other in the many years since that first night they would talk about how far they’ve come, and about their kids.
“We’d laugh at all the good things that happened since and we’d laugh at how much fun it was to raise kids,” he said. “Kobe had 4 daughters and I had 2 daughters and today he and one of his daughters are gone.”
“Let’s honor Kobe, Gianna and the other lives lost,” Fallon concluded. “Love your family, love your teammates and outwork everyone else in the gym. To Vanessa and all those affected by this tragedy, we love you and we’ll always be there for all of you. Kobe, when we meet again, we’re going on a beer run.”