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Jay-Z Recalls Last Chat With Kobe Bryant And It's Gut-Wrenching

The rapper said the Lakers legend spoke of a matter intensely close to this heart.

Jay-Z said that in his last conversation with Kobe Bryant, the basketball great glowed with pride as he gushed about his 13-year-old daughter Gianna’s basketball skills. (See the video below.)

Jay-Z, speaking at a Columbia University lecture this week, recalled that Bryant visited his house on New Year’s and was in a better state than he’d ever seen him. Bryant and Gianna died in a helicopter crash with seven others on Jan. 26.

“One of the last things he said to me was, ‘You gotta see Gianna play basketball,’” Jay-Z remembered. “He was so proud. And the look on his face. I looked at him and said she’s going to be the best female basketball player in the world.”

“So that’s really a tough one,” he said. “My wife and I have taken that really tough.”

Bryant was seen coaching Gianna’s team the day before their fatal helicopter trip en route to another game. He had spoken of his daughter’s hoop dreams in interviews.

In the immediate aftermath of Bryant’s death on Jan. 26, Jay-Z’s Roc Nation Instagram called the Lakers legend a “transcendent global icon.” It also shared a photo of Bryant with Gianna. “A father first. Hold tightly to the ones you love.”

Jay-Z’s wife Beyonce later shared photos of Bryant, writing: “I will continue to diligently pray for your Queens.”

In addition to his wife, Bryant is survived by three other daughters.

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