LOS ANGELES (CBSLA) — Earvin “Magic” Johnson expressed his disbelief on Sunday following the death of NBA legend Kobe Bryant and his 13-year-old daughter, Gianna. They were among nine killed in Calabasas following a copter crash.
In an interview with CBSLA Sports Director Jill Hill, Johnson remembered Bryant as a great husband and an outstanding father, adding, “the way he took so much joy into his daughters and coaching them. He loved, he loved basketball.”
“This is not a conversation I ever wanted to have. My heart’s just been broken. I got out of church and found this out and I just still can’t believe it. Not Kobe, not Kobe. But we have to pray for his family, also his mom and dad … his sisters as well, his kids, and his beautiful wife that they can have the strength to carry on,” Johnson said.
Johnson described one instance where he and Bryant were reflecting on their careers.
“Kobe relished being a Laker and playing his whole career just for Lakers and he loved Jeanie Buss … they were like sister and brother,” he said. “People are going to miss his smile and just miss him because Kobe had an aura about him. I thought he was gonna live forever, I thought he was invincible. He played like that, he walked like that, he was just a confident young man.”
Johnson went on to say that the city lost a great man.
“The city needs heroes, we need our heroes to be here and this is not a good day for the city of Los Angeles because we needed Kobe to still be around. Our kids who idolized him, our fans who idolized him. There was more for him to do, he died way too early.”