Jimmy Fallon, Jimmy Kimmel pay tribute to Kobe Bryant

Jan. 28 (UPI) -- Jimmy Fallon, Jimmy Kimmel and James Corden paid tribute to Los Angeles Lakers icon Kobe Bryant following his death.

Bryant and his 13-year-old daughter Gianna were among the nine killed in a helicopter crash on Sunday in Calabasas, Calif.


Fallon discussed on The Tonight Show Monday how he met Bryant when the NBA legend was 17-years-old at a party in Los Angeles. The comedian, then 21, said he connected with Bryant as the pair didn't know anyone else at the party.

Fallon described how Bryant accompanied him to grab more beer for the party and how Bryant got a store that only delivered to sell them beer due to being a member of the Lakers.

"Kobe was such a life force, so strong and creative and inspired that, in my head, I thought that he was going to live forever," Fallon said.

Kimmel appeared with no studio audience and discussed his friendship with Bryant before presenting footage of the athlete's past appearances on Jimmy Kimmel Live. Bryant was a featured guest on the show 15 times, the last appearance happening in September.


"He was a bright light and that's how I wanna remember him," Kimmel said while getting emotional.

Corden kicked off The Late Late Show discussing the tragedy and how Bryant, during his last appearance on the program, spoke of how excited he was to have free time with his family following retirement.

"NBA games weren't on television when I was growing up, but there are some athletes that transcend their sport before you ever even get a chance to see them play. And Kobe Bryant was one of those athletes," Corden said.

Remembering the career of NBA legend Kobe Bryant

Los Angeles Lakers Kobe Bryant stands during a time out against the New York Knicks at Madison Square Garden in New York City during a game on January 26, 2014. Bryant was killed in a helicopter crash with his 13-year-old daughter Gianna in Calabasas, Calif., on January 26, 2020. File Photo by John Angelillo/UPI | License Photo

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