Justin Timberlake has opened up about his friendship with Kobe Bryant.
The musician revealed that he first met Kobe as a teenager, when they bonded over their mutual “drive and ambition.”
Justin shared that Kobe has inspired him his entire life, and divulged that the last conversation they shared was about parenting.
View this post on Instagram
“I was in awe of what you could do with a basketball and knew your talent went beyond your physical gifts and stretched to your mentality,” he posted on Instagram.
“A mentality that I would take with me throughout my whole career and still use every day. As the years went by, I watched you do things that seemed humanly unimaginable.”
“And, through ups and downs, championships and injuries, you still remained with an unwavering resolve about your mentality to remain fierce to competition.”
“But, every time we would speak or text, something started to change… your patience and ease grew. And it inspired me to continue to grow for myself. ”
Opening up about how Kobe was a hero to him, he said: “You never stopped aiming to inspire me. Your confidence in me was huge – it really affected me because I admired you so much.”
“I don’t mean as one of the greatest athletes ever. I mean as a person. People sometimes can confuse a will to win with a lack of compassion. That wasn’t you. You had both qualities.”
Sharing the details of the last ever conversation the men shared, he revealed: “The last conversation that we shared was about being fathers and what that meant.”
“That was, beyond all the things that we could do in this world, our true legacy. Who our children are and what beautiful people they will become.”
“And, I guess right now, without being able to find all the words, THAT father connection is what is most devastating for me.”
He ended his poignant statement by sharing his love and condolences for Kobe’s wife Vanessa and his three children.