LOS ANGELES - It was a friendship that grew over decades of bathing in the spotlight of fame in Los Angeles. Kobe Bryant a star on the Los Angeles Lakers and Big Boy a popular morning drive radio host often traveled in the same social circles.
But it was the non-glamorous connections that Big Boy talked about emotionally today. He and Kobe collaborated on fighting the homeless crisis. Big Boy has a special connection to this issue, his own family struggled without a home, when he was growing up. He expressed admiration for Bryant, who wanted to use his platform to help other people.
He said Kobe’s fight on behalf of the homeless was genuine and "there was nothing in it for Kobe to help the homeless except good karma, goodwill, and a good human being."
The two men saw each other a couple of weeks before the fatal chopper crash that took the lives of Bryant, his daughter and seven other people. They talked about their kids and coaching and life. Big Boy said it felt very special in the moment. He was struck by the feeling they were just two “dads” hanging out. And that this was their life.
On the morning Kobe passed, Big Boy was driving with his family back from Sunday services. He recalls in vivid detail, the shock, the grief and the horrible realization that Kobe was really gone. The crash site is near his home. Big Boy went with his entire family to pay his final respects to the crash victims.
And like people all over the world he will watch the “ Celebration of Life” on February 24. He predicted tears, hugs, and beauty in honor of a man that Angelenos regarded as "ours."