THANKS SO MUCH FOR BEING HERE I’M SURE YOU ARE FEELING THE
SAME AS I AM, AS SO MANY PEOPLE ARE YESTERDAY. IT IS STILL SO HARD TO FATHOM
THE NEWS YESTERDAY THAT WE LOST KOBE BRYANT. AND THE SHOCK OF HEARING THE
NEWS THAT THERE HAD BEEN A HOLD KEPTER THAT CRASHED OUTSIDE OF
LOS ANGELES AND TAKING KOBE AND HIS DAUGHTER GIANNA AND SEVEN
OTHER PEOPLE. IT DIDN’T FEEL REAL WHEN I HEARD
IT. AND IT IS SO UNSPEAKABLY SAD. ALL OF IT, YOU KNOW. GROWING UP IN BRITAIN, LIKE IF
YOU GROW UP IN BRITAIN, BASKETBALL IS NOT A MASSIVE PART
OF YOUR LIFE. NOT MANY PEOPLE PLAY BASKETBALL
AT SCHOOL. NBA GAMES WEREN’T ON TELEVISION
WHEN I WAS GROWING UP. THERE WERE WERE 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. HE REALLY, REALLY WAS. AND I KEEP FINDING MYSELF
THINKING ABOUT THE LAST TIME THAT KOBE WAS HERE ON THE SHOW. HE WAS FRESHLY RETIRED. AND HE COULDN’T STOP TALKING
ABOUT HOW EXCITED HE WAS TO HAVE ALL THIS FREE TIME TO DE VOTE TO
HIS FAMILY AND TO COACH HIS DAUGHTERS. AND I REMEMBER LOVING HEARING
HIM TALK LIKE THAT, A MAN WHO HAD ACHIEVED SO MUCH IN HIS
LIFE. HE WAS SO EXCITED JUST TO GET TO
BE A DAD FOR AWHILE. AND OUR HEARTS BREAK AT THIS
TRAGEDY. OUR THOUGHTS AND OUR LOVE GO OUT
TO KOBE’S WIFE AND TO HIS CHILDREN, HIS FAMILY, HIS
FRIENDS. WE MOURN THE OTHER SEVEN PEOPLE
ON THAT HELICOPTER WHOSE LOSS IS NO LESS PROFOUND. AND OUR HEARTS GO OUT TO THEIR
FRIENDS AND FAMILY TOO. I WISH I COULD SAY SOMETHING TO
MAKE SENSE OF IT ALL. AND I CAN’T FIND THE WORDS TO
SAY, ALL I CAN THINK OF IS THIS, IF YOU CAN, TAKE A MOMENT
TONIGHT, TOMORROW, TO CALL UP SOMEONE YOU LOVE, TO JUST LET
THEM KNOW. WE’LL BE RIGHT BACK FOR MORE OF
THE “LATE, LATE SHOW.” ♪
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