Lakers GM Rob Pelinka remembers multi-faceted Kobe Bryant as friend, husband and 'world's greatest dad'

LOS ANGELES -- Rob Pelinka, who became the Lakers general manager after years of representing Kobe Bryant as the NBA icon's agent, remembered the multi-faceted Bryant on Monday as "Kobe the dad, Kobe the husband and Kobe the best friend."

Pelinka said he received Bryant's last texts to him shortly before the January helicopter crash in Calabasas that killed the basketball legend, his 13-year-old daughter Gianna Bryant and seven others.

Speaking from a podium at a Staples Center memorial service, Pelinka said that Bryant wanted his help to secure an internship for a daughter of his friend John Altobelli, who also died in the crash.

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Vanessa Bryant has spoken out for the first time since the death of her husband Kobe Bryant and daughter Gianna in Sunday's helicopter crash, thanking millions for "support and love during this horrific time."


He described Bryant's last act as "heroic," noting that Bryant wanted to "use his platform to bless and shape a young girl's future."

Pelinka recalled how Bryant's famous "Mamba mentality" extended to whatever he set his mind to -- including picking up the game of tennis after his NBA retirement and learning to play Beethoven's "Moonlight Sonata" on piano.

Pelinka then introduced Alicia Keys, who performed a heart-rending version of the sonata onstage.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.
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