Twitch star Dr Disrespect paid tribute to NBA legend Kobe Bryant and his daughter Gianna in an emotional stream after they sadly passed away on January 26.
Bryant was just 41-years-old when he and his 13-year-old daughter were the victims of a fatal helicopter crash in Calabasas, California while on the way to a practice session at Mamba Academy in Thousand Oaks, CA. Seven other passengers were also killed, including the pilot.
The internet came together to pay tribute to the tragedy, and on January 27, Dr Disrespect dedicated his entire broadcast to the basketball star, calling him an “incredible” person.
Upon starting his stream, the Two-Time stayed silent for a few minutes to collect his thoughts and get ready to talk about what had happened the day before.
He finally began by saying how hard the news has been on him. “It’s amazing to find out how much someone means to you when they’re actually gone. I had no idea the impact Kobe had on me,” he said.
“No celebrity, no sports athlete, in fact nobody up to this point in my life, being an only child, having a small family… and yesterday was really tough. It f**king sucks!” the 37-year-old continued.
“He was just getting started too, man. And his daughter was obviously just getting started as well,” Doc stated in emotion. “It’s only been 24 hours, tough one to swallow.”
After thanking donators, he read a fan message out that stated “Tell us what the Mamba meant to you and California.”
“I had deep admiration for him. Growing up as a basketball player, the Killer Instinct, the mentality that he had, when he got later towards the end of his career, I think the respect just grew and grew as I matured as well,” he said. “Seeing him in post-retirement, seeing how incredible of a person he… He started opening up, he’s a very private person, so we got more glimpses of him after he retired and he was doing such good things.”
Doc continued, as he started to talk about his own beginnings in the sport. “Basketball was my life, when he was a rookie in the NBA, I was a freshman with goals of playing college basketball. I started on a freshman on a varsity team at my high school and that’s all I was,” he said.
“I grew up a Lakers fan… Magic Johnson was my guy, and then Kobe came along, he was a rookie in ‘96 and I was a freshman in high school, and so you can just imagine how, being inspired during that same era,” he continued.
Dr Disrespect finished by stating, “Just to see how successful Kobe was… What he did on the basketball court was just amazing. He grew from just being a basketball player to this incredible intellect of the game and life, and it’s unfortunate, it sucks.”
Kobe’s $100m firm Bryant Stibel invested in Epic Games in 2018, and also into the Mamba Sports Academy, including an esports training ground.
He played his 20-year career with the Los Angeles Lakers, winning five championships and making it to 18 All-Star games before he retired in April 2016.