Hours before their helicopter crash, Lakers icon Kobe Bryant and his 13-year-old daughter Gianna went to church.
Father Steve Stallot of Our Lady Queen of Angels in Newport Beach told Los Angeles’ Eyewitness News, “He was here before the 7 a.m. mass, and that’s our first mass of the day. So he would obviously have been in the prayer chapel before that and he was leaving about 10 to 7.”
According to his priest, Kobe received communion before heading to Mamba Academy for Gianna’s basketball game.
Bryant also spoke on the phone with Lakers superstar LeBron James, who just surpassed his NBA scoring record to become the third-highest NBA scorer of all time.
LeBron mourned his death on Tuesday, writing, “I literally just heard your voice Sunday morning before I left Philly to head back to LA. Didn’t think for one bit in a million years that would be the last conversation we’d have. WTF!! I’m heartbroken and devastated my brother!!”
An hour before his helicopter went down, Kobe reached out to Shaquille O’Neal’s son Shareef, who recently announced that he was transferring out of UCLA.
At 8:19 a.m., Kobe DMed Shareef on Instagram, writing, “You good fam?”
Literally this morning you reached out to me ....😔 I love you forever unc❤️ I love you pic.twitter.com/3oVgvKKUkm— Shareef O’Neal (@SSJreef) January 26, 2020
Before knowing of Kobe’s crash, which occurred around 9:45 a.m., Shareef responded back at 10:58 a.m., “Yeah! Just been getting this work in trying to figure out my next move,” adding, “How you been?”
Shareef shared a screengrab of their direct messages, tweeting, “Literally this morning you reached out to me... I love you forever unc. I love you.”
Shaq just revealed that he’s not “doing well” since Kobe’s death, especially since it came so soon after his sister Ayesha's passing in October. On his podcast “The Big Podcast with Shaq,” he said, “I haven’t been sleeping after Ayesha’s death because, not thinking about just the good times, but times I could’ve did something, or I could’ve said something or could’ve did something different, or could’ve loved her more or could’ve showed her more support. And the same thing hit when I found out this news.”
“I haven’t eaten, I haven’t slept,” Shaq added. “I’m looking at all the tapes. I’m sick right now. And I know some idiot’s gonna bring up the relationship me and Kobe had. Our relationship was that of brothers. We’re brothers on this podcast, John, we argue all the time. But in real life, when I see you and your lovely wife, it’s all about respect.”