Hate him or love him, there’s no denying the impact that Kobe Bryant had on the game of basketball during his two decades in both a #8 and #24 Los Angeles Lakers jersey. So it’s only fitting that before both his jerseys are lifted into the rafters of eternal glory inside the Staples Center tonight, one of the biggest Lakers fans, Ice Cube, penned a tribute to Frobe and Black Mamba.
Taking to The Players’ Tribune, Cube remembers Kobe’s career from day one. When a young 18-year-old Bryant came off the bench at The Forum and how “he was smooth with it” from the jump. The legendary rapper and diehard Lakers fan continues by comparing Kobe to Dr. Dre, both of whom he considers geniuses. “If you’re with the best, you gotta be at your best,” he says of Dre before commenting that “Kobe was the fiercest motherf*cker out there, on every play, in every game, for two damn decades. A Natural Born Killa.”
Finally, Ice Cube compares Kobe to a shiny river rock.
“Kobe is that rock, the combo of smooth and hard. The perfect marriage of work ethic and killer instinct, skill and drive. So it shouldn’t be no surprise that the Lakers are sending not one, but two of Kobe’s jerseys into the rafters. Because he was two superstars. Smooth and hard. 8 and 24. Two Hall of Famers in one.”
Read the full tribute on The Players’ Tribune website and let us know if you’ll be tuning in tonight when the Los Angeles Lakers take on the Golden State Warriors for Kobe Bryant’s jersey retirement ceremony. Also check out the special Nike commemorative jerseys and New Era caps.