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Ice Cube Remembers How Kobe Bryant ‘Wanted to Be Even Better’ Than His Given Talents

Kobe Bryant transcended talent during his short time on Earth, and Ice Cube was one of the many people who took notice.

Related: Celebrities Share #GirlDad Photos in Honor of Kobe Bryant

“Man, what I loved about Kobe is that he wasn’t just satisfied with God’s given talents. He wanted to be even better than the talents that God gave him, and so that’s amazing,” the former N.W.A member, 50, said on The Ellen DeGeneres Show on Friday, February 7. “That’s an amazing person ‘cause most people say, ‘Look, I got these gifts. I’mma just kick back and just cruise.’ And he showed you, no, you can always take it even further, and when you think you’re at the top, you can take it even further.”

Ice Cube Remembers How Kobe Bryant Wanted to Be Even Better Than His Given Talents
Ice Cube on ‘The Ellen DeGeneres Show,’ guest-hosted by Martha Stewart and Snoop Dogg. Michael Rozman/Warner Bros.

He added, “We loved Kobe’s spirit more than anything.”

Snoop Dogg — who guest-hosted the episode with his Martha & Snoop’s Potluck Party Challenge costar, Martha Stewart — also took a moment to pay tribute to the late NBA legend.

“The young generation of basketball players all look up to him. The young generation of rappers all look up to him. Even rappers like myself, who was older than him, I looked up to him because he showed me ways of how to be a better person, a better father, a better man,” the Grammy nominee, 48, said. “He was just a great leader, a great role model, and we gon’ miss him dearly. We send love to Vanessa and the kids, and just want to put that love angel around them and make sure they get through this time right here.”

Kobe Bryant presents the Arthur Ashe award for courage at the ESPY Awards Ice Cube Remembers How Kobe Bryant Wanted to Be Even Better Than His Given Talents
Kobe Bryant presents the Arthur Ashe Courage Award at the ESPY Awards at the Microsoft Theater in Los Angeles on July 10, 2019. Chris Pizzello/Invision/AP/Shutterstock

Related: Kobe Bryant’s Helicopter Crash: Everything We Know

Bryant was involved in a helicopter crash in the Calabasas neighborhood of Los Angeles on January 26 that claimed the lives of all nine people on board. The victims were the former Lakers player, 41, and his daughter Gianna, 13; pilot Ara Zobayan, 50; Gianna’s basketball teammates Alyssa Altobelli, 14, and Payton Chester, 13; Alyssa’s parents, John Altobelli, 56, and Keri Altobelli, 46; Payton’s mother, Sarah Chester, 45; and basketball coach Christina Mauser, 38.

Bryant was also the father of daughters Natalia, 17, Bianka, 3, and Capri, 7 months, with his wife of 18 years, Vanessa Bryant.

Related: Kobe Bryant’s 10 Most Inspirational Quotes

Vanessa, 37, spoke out about the tragedy for the first time via Instagram on January 29, writing in part, “There aren’t enough words to describe our pain right now. I take comfort in knowing that Kobe and Gigi both knew that they were so deeply loved. We were so incredibly blessed to have them in our lives. I wish they were here with us forever. They were our beautiful blessings taken from us too soon.”

The former model also announced the launch of the MambaOnThreeFund “to help support the other families affected by this tragedy.”

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