Showbiz

Emotional Jack Nicholson pays tribute to Kobe Bryant in rare interview

by WENN January 27th, 2020, 2:29 pm

WENN

An emotional Jack Nicholson admitted "there's a big hole in the wall" after Kobe Bryant's untimely death, as he gave a rare interview to pay tribute to the basketball player.

The Oscar-winning actor is a longtime fan of the Los Angeles Lakers, the team Kobe played for prior to his tragic passing on Sunday, and was frequently seen courtside at Lakers games.

While he opts against doing many interviews these days, Jack broke his rule to mourn Kobe – who died alongside his 13-year-old daughter Gianna after the helicopter they were traveling in crashed.

"My reaction is the same as almost all of L.A.," he said as he spoke to CBSLA's Jim Hill just hours after the news broke. "Where we think everything's solid, there's a big hole in the wall. I was used to seeing and talking to Kobe that… it kills you. It's just a terrible event."

The 82-year-old screen star went on to recall the first time he met Kobe, admitting he'd "teased" the sportsman by offering him a basketball autographed by himself.

"He looked at me like I was crazy," Jack laughed.

As for how he will remember the basketball player, who was just 41 when he died, the One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest star replied: "I remember the totality of how great a player he was… We'll think of him all the time and we'll miss him."