Basketball and hip-hop are two fields of entertainment that have seen consistent overlaps over the years. Legends of both fields have often seen iconic interactions and the link between the industries has only gotten stronger.
Ice Cube is one of the most popular rappers of all time, and one whose associations with the world of basketball go beyond that of a normal fan. The Straight Outta Compton star has a close association with various NBA stars and even launched the Big3 league.
Through the Big3, Ice Cube provided an opportunity for various retired NBA stars to stay in the game. Joe Johnson, Chauncey Billups, Stephen Jackson, Mike Bibby, and Rashard Lewis are some former stars who went on to feature in the Big3 league.
The Big 3 had been increasing in popularity from its inception. And, if there was a player Ice Cube would have killed to have in his league, it arguably is Kobe Bryant. However, any such plan had to be shelved, owing to Bryant’s untimely demise.
Ice Cube was one of the many millions in disbelief upon hearing the news of Kobe’s tragic passing.
The N.W.A star texted Kobe Bryant himself upon receiving the news of his death.
Like all Kobe fans, Ice Cube too was in absolute shock when he heard about the helicopter accident that killed Bryant. The rapper even went as much as texting Kobe himself, in hope of a response, as the norm was.
Cube’s Kobe fandom was known to the public. And on The Jump, Rachel Nichols enquired with the N.W.A. star as to how he processed Kobe’s death.
Nichols asked the rapper who he texted first on hearing about Bryant’s passing. It was then that Cube opened up about texting Kobe himself and his logic behind the decision.
“To see if he would hit me back. When I didn’t get it back, you don’t immediately start to worry, because he’s Kobe and he always gets back sooner or later” revealed Ice Cube about how he dealt with the news. The rapper also went on to state how the news affected him and how he wishes for the community to deal with the incident.
“I just tossed and turned thinking about Vanessa, his daughters…everybody in his life and what they lost. I know what we lost as fans. Me personally, I don’t have too many heroes that’s younger than me and [he] was one of them. It’s profound. I hope the city wraps their arms around the family and embrace them as much as they embraced Kobe. Because the family is going to need it” said the rapper.
A touching remark indeed from a cultural icon. Kobe’s influence on Los Angeles and the people were never more evident. He was a hero to the masses, and Ice Cube was merely one such fan.
Bryant spent all of his career in Los Angeles for the Lakers.
As someone born and belonging to Los Angeles, it is no surprise why Ice Cube felt so strongly about Kobe. The Black Mamba was a Laker for the entirety of his career and starred in 5 different championship runs for the franchise.
It isn’t a regular occurrence to have two separate jerseys retired to honor your career. Bryant was no regular basketball player and his spirit and performances drove Los Angeles and its beloved Lakers for two decades.
Bryant’s tragic death in 2020 struck Los Angeles hard. The Black Mamba was settling into retirement and was destined for bigger things. However, fate had other ideas. Truly an incomparable loss to the world of basketball, Kobe’s death remains a moment no NBA fan can forget.