The Wendy Williams Show host spoke of Bryant’s shocking passing on her platform on Monday, January 27. According to Hollywood Life, Williams began the “Hot Topics” section by sharing kind words about the NBA legend, who died on Sunday, January 26. She then shared with her audience — who she nicknames her “co-hosts” — her feelings when she learned of the news with the rest of the world.
Williams expressed how difficult it was for her to tape the episode for the day. She said that recording the talk show, which typically consists of lighthearted segments, was something that is “very hard to do” in light of learning of Bryant’s death. The host also told her fans that her son, Kevin Hunter, Jr., was a big fan of the basketball star.
“What I really dug about Kobe… I don’t know if I even saw him play a game, but I just knew, 20 years in the game, he’s a living legend. We do have a picture of him in the apartment,” she said. “He really stood for putting his money into homelessness and also for girls and women playing basketball, which is a big deal. He rose to the occasion of being a good husband and a good father.”
Williams also said that when she found out that Bryant had died, she was on the phone with her parents. She shared that they were planning a family trip to Martha’s Vineyard for later in the year, which they are now more excited to take. She then encouraged her audience to cherish moments with their loved ones and make plans when they can.
“Live each day like it’s your last, not in a bad way. Hug the people you love. Sometimes, you gotta let bygones be bygones,” she said.
Although she was hurting, Williams continued with the show. The former radio host brought on Charles Oakley in the first half of the episode. The former NBA player was close with Bryant and used his guest spot to speak fondly of his late friend.
Bryant, along with eight other people, were on their way to his Mamba Sports Academy in Thousand Oaks, California, when they were killed in a helicopter crash in Calabasas. News outlets soon learned that Bryant was with his daughter, Gianna “Gigi” Maria-Onore Bryant, Orange Coast College baseball coach John Altobelli, his wife, Keri Altobelli, and their daughter Alyssa Altobelli, who was Gianna’s teammate. Other fatalities include basketball coach Christina Mauser, Gianna’s other teammate Payton Chester, her mother, Sarah Chester, and helicopter pilot Ara Zobayan.