Back In February, R&B legend Brian McKnight honored NBA legend Kobe Bryant with a tribute song titled “Can’t Say Goodbye.” Unbeknownst to the public, Bryant and McKnight have been friends for years.
Die-hard fans would know that Bryant rapped a verse at the end of McKnight’s 1998 song “Hold Me.” The original version appears on McKnight’s album, “Anytime.”
According to GMA, the singer told ABC Audio that if it weren’t for the Los Angeles Lakers, Kobe might have pursued a rap career instead.
“Kobe Bryant was absolutely 100% serious about his rap career,” McKnight said. “The problem was … that this was before the Lakers were actually in a championship. And I believe that a year later, they were playing for a championship.”
McKnight thinks that Bryant’s “handlers,” The LA Lakers, “needed him focused on that, more than trying to be a musical star.”
“I think he thought ‘I can do it all,’ but we’re talking about a kid who’s 19 at that moment,” he added. “Of course, he wants to do it all.”
“It wasn’t a throw-away. It wasn’t just something to do,” McKnight added. “But I think that life and his actual career took precedence over [it] and then once they won three championships in a row, I don’t think he was thinking about rap music anymore.”
Kobe, his daughter Gianna and seven other people died in a helicopter crash back in January. Bryant won an astonishing five championship rings from 2000-2002 and 2009-2010, along with a list of many accolades. He played in seven NBA finals during his career before passing away at the age of 41.