“Thank you KB8/24 for 20 years, wish it could’ve lasted 20 more”: When Ice Cube penned a heartfelt post for Lakers legend Kobe Bryant ahead of his jersey retirement in 2017

Arjun Julka
|Published 12/07/2021

American actor and rapper Ice Cube shared some candid details about Lakers legend Kobe Bryant in an appreciation post on The Players Tribune.

There is no doubt that Ice Cube is one of the biggest Lakers fans. The American rapper has often expressed his love for the LA team, the city where he grew up too.

Cube was a huge admirer of the showtime Lakers during the 80s and even considered Magic Johnson as one of his idols while growing up in South Central.

The Ride Along actor considers Kobe as one of the few geniuses he has met in his life. Cube was a fan of Kobe since his rookie year in 1996.

Cube spoke about the first time he saw the Black Mamba play, ” The first time I saw Kobe play, he started out on the damn bench. I wasn’t having any of that. I spent the first half yelling at Del Harris. Put the kid in.”

The American rapper being an ardent Lakers fan, had his doubts first when he saw Kobe, who had just come out of high school in the NBA.

“And he ain’t seven feet tall? What’s so damn special about this kid? Because it was unusual. He wasn’t a Kevin Garnett type. I was intrigued, but I had to see this kid for myself.” said Cube.

Also read: “Kobe Bryant achieved more in 2 years than Magic Johnson did in his entire career”: Comparing an shocking statistic between the two Laker legends

American rapper and actor Ice Cube narrates his first experience of watching Kobe Bryant play

Cube, while talking about his first time experience of watching Kobe, spoke about how he would pester the then LA Lakers coach Del Harris to not bench Kobe and let the kid play.

Finally, when the rookie Kobe made his way to the hardwood, the then Lakers arena Forum erupted.

“I still remember how the sequence went down. Kobe got the ball on the wing. Right away, I’m noticing he’s moving different. He was smooth with it. There was just something about his vibe.”

Cube recalls telling his wife, “We ain’t never had nothin’ like that” while talking about Kobe.

The Friday actor believes Kobe was blessed with unbelievable talent, yet he never stopped working hard. The Mamba mentality something Kobe coined that represented hard work, perseverance, and a killer mindset.

“I appreciate all those things about Kobe. I appreciate his talent and his work ethic. But what I respect Kobe for, more than any of that? I respect Kobe for his killer instinct. No one had it like he had it. That’s what makes Kobe genius level.” Cube said.

Also read: “God, Air Jordan and Kobe Bryant in that order”: When Shannon Sharpe had the Lakers legend top-2 behind Michael Jordan in his all-time rankings

Cube even spoke about the basketball references he would use in his music. The rapper even narrated an incident where he replaced Jordan’s name with Kobe changing the lyrics of his song called “It Was a Good” Day.”

Freakin’ brothers every way, like MJ.
I can’t believe, today was a good day.

Freakin’ brothers every way, like Ko-BAY.
I can’t believe, today was a good day.

In conclusion, Cube thanked Kobe for his 20-years of service to the LA Lakers.

“Thank you KB8/24 for 20 years. Wish it could’ve lasted 20 more.”

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About the author
Arjun Julka

Arjun Julka

Arjun Julka is a NBA author at The SportsRush. Basketball isn’t just a sport for this 26-year-old, who hails from Mumbai. He began watching the sport after stumbling upon a court in his society, helping him identify an undiscovered passion for the game of hoops. Now an ardent fan, Arjun supports Stephen Curry and the Warriors but also enjoys watching Giannis Antetokounmpo own the paint. When it comes to the GOAT debate, the TSR author feels LeBron James is yet to receive a lot of his due but cannot deny marveling at Michael Jordan’s resume.

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