How Kanye West Is Paying Tribute to Best Friend Kobe Bryant

There’s no dribbling around these honest facts: Kobe Bryant‘s death had a profound impact on Kanye West.

And like so many Americans can relate to, the passing of the Los Angeles Lakers basketball player got Kanye thinking about how his life can be different going forward.

In the May issue of GQ available on newsstands April 21, the rapper got candid about his mindset after losing “one of my best friends.”

As he continues driving down the street near the site of the helicopter crash that killed nine people, Kanye can’t help but reflect.

“Now there’s no way for me not to be as determined as Kobe every time I drive down that street. It’s game time. There’s no move that we can’t make, or that we’ll wait to make,” he explained to GQ. “Everyone in our life is now a member of the Lakers on one of Kobe’s championship teams.”

Kanye continued, “The way that Kobe would say that we all have to come together and win this championship is the way I look at life now. To an infinite, other level.”

Tyler Mitchell

Kobe’s passing was a “game changer” for the rapper and inspired him to do even more with his platform and life.

“He was the basketball version of me, and I was the rap version of him, and that’s facts! We got the commercials that prove it. No one else can say this,” Kanye explained. “We came up at the same time, together. And now it’s like, yeah, I might have had a reputation for screaming about things—but I’m not taking any mess for an answer now. We’re about to build a paradigm shift for humanity. We ain’t playing with ’em. We bringing home the trophies.”

Soon after Kobe passed away, Kim Kardashian took to Instagram to show footage of Kanye’s somber Sunday Service in honor of the athlete.

The Keeping Up With the Kardashians star also expressed her pain at the tragic losses.

“My heart is so heavy. No one should ever experience what the families involved are going through,” Kim wrote on Instagram. “This has affected us all so much but I cannot begin to imagine what Vanessa is feeling losing her husband and her baby girl. I cry just thinking about it. I am praying for the Bryant family, the Altobelli family and the families of all who perished in this unthinkable tragedy. Rest In Peace Legend.” 

Watch a brand new episode of Keeping Up With the Kardashians Thursday at 8 p.m., only on E!

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