The NBA star was killed in a helicopter crash on Sunday, January 26. According to Hollywood Life, Lopez said that she was preparing for her Super Bowl LIV performance when Rodriguez told her the news. Rodriguez and Bryant were close for many years, and the former MLB star was emotional as he gave JLo the news.
“I was in the middle of rehearsing and Alex came to me with tears in his eyes,” she recalled. “He was devastated, he knew Kobe very well. They entered sports around the same time.”
While A-Rod was friends with Bryant, Lopez said she only knew his wife, Vanessa Bryant, “in passing,” but still felt the tremendous loss of the basketball champion. Lopez also said that, even for those who didn’t know Bryant personally, the aftermath of his sudden death affected many people across the nation. She explained that the loss of the NBA star puts many of life’s factors into perspective.
“I think it’s affecting everyone so much because it’s reminding us how fragile life is and we have to appreciate every single moment and love people while they’re here,” she said. “I think about Vanessa as a mom, losing her best friend and partner, and losing her child, and how awful that must be for her right now.”
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Family. As I scrolled through Kobe’s feed, and Alex and I talk memories and moments we remember about him ... this is the truth that rings out the loudest ... family is what matters most. We are all feeling sadness from this loss, but all I can think of is that it is a grain of sand compared to what Vanessa must going through right now. I am sending all of my love and praying for you, your children and the other families involved in today’s tragic turn of events. The most unfair thing in life is to lose a child and husband on the same day. Vanessa, I pray for your strength and that God guides you each step of the way through this unimaginable heartbreak. To the other families who are suffering from this unthinkable tragedy, may God be with you all. Kobe you meant so much to so many and we will miss you forever. Thank you for your work ethic, your inspiration and your heart. #hero #legend #husband #father ????????????????
Lopez shared kind and thoughtful words on her Instagram account following Kobe’s death. In her caption, she said that her and Rodriguez swapped memories of their time with Kobe and his family. She also shared times that she was with Kobe and Vanessa together. JLo said that she wanted to offer Vanessa some light and that she hopes she will remain strong for her three surviving daughters — Natalia, Bianka, and Capri. JLo also shared how she still hopes that the news was a “nightmare,” though she knows that isn’t the case. The “Waiting For Tonight” singer also said that she hoped the message and the tragedy encourage people to “come together” more.
Bryant and his daughter Gianna “GiGi” Bryant were two of the fatalities from the helicopter crash. In total, there were nine victims of the crash, including John, Keri and Alyssa Altobelli, Sarah and Payton Chester, Christina Mauser, and Ara Zobayan. The Altobelli and Chester families’ daughters were teammates of GiGi, and Mauser was their coach along with Kobe. Zobayan was the helicopter’s pilot and often flew with Kobe.