As seen in the video below, Roman Reigns recently spoke to The Los Angeles Times Sports division about the tragic passing of NBA Legend Kobe Bryant at the age of 41. Reigns is a big fan of the NBA’s Los Angeles Lakers, who Kobe spent his entire 20-year career with.
Reigns revealed that he found out about Bryant’s passing on Sunday at Minute Maid Park in Houston, TX, right before the WWE Royal Rumble pay-per-view and the 30-Man Royal Rumble main event later that night. Triple H informed him of the passing.
“I actually found out at Minute Maid Park right before The Rumble,” Reigns said. “Triple H received a text message and he showed it to me, and I just didn’t believe it, to be honest. I’m a Lakers fan. I watched religiously throughout his career, and I’ve always just been a huge fan, massive respect. I never really thought losing someone like that… he’s a stranger, obviously a public figure, and I’ve seen him and watched him, but he didn’t know me and I didn’t truly know him, but I didn’t realize it would affect me so much. It really did, on top of The Rumble just being an emotional roller coaster in its own right, it really just saddened me and broke my heart, obviously to hear the loss of Kobe, and then his daughter as well, GiGi, my heart just goes out to his wife, the three girls that were left behind, all the families that were involved, and the pilot and his family. It’s just an abrupt lost, and I really feel like it shook the world.”
Reigns continued and said he flew home from the Royal Rumble, then went right to his daughter’s bedroom to hold her while crying.
“I did not think it would affect me as much as it did,” Reigns said. “I legitimately think I cried. I got home last night, I flew home right after The Rumble. The first thing I did when I got in my house was went right to my daughter’s room. She was asleep, she had no clue, but I hugged her for probably 3, 4, 5 minutes, and just teared up the whole time. You have to really be grateful and thankful, and take advantage of every second that we have here, and make sure your loved ones know they’re loved, and if there’s anything that you’re holding within, try to forgive and forget, and move on. Mend any type of negativity that you have going on in your life because you just never know. Life is short and we just need to take advantage of every second we have. My heart and my condolences go out to all the families. It’s just a very sad time.”
As we’ve noted, Bryant, his 13 year old daughter Gianna, and 7 other people passed away on Sunday after Kobe’s helicopter crashed in Calabasas, California. They were on their way to a basketball game that some of the children were playing in, and some of the adults, including Kobe, were coaching. The FAA (Federal Aviation Administration) is still investigating, but they said on Sunday that Kobe’s Sikorsky S-76 helicopter crashed under “unknown circumstances.”
WWE paid tribute to Bryant during Sunday’s Royal Rumble pay-per-view with an “in memory” graphic, which you can see below with the video of Reigns talking to The LA Times:
— WWE (@WWE) January 27, 2020
WWE superstar @WWERomanReigns is a big Lakers fan and he found out about Kobe Bryant’s death before Sunday’s Royal Rumble from @TripleH. He flew home immediately after the event and when he got home he went to his daughter’s room. She was sleeping but he just held her and cried. pic.twitter.com/2RKNT5tmzR
— L.A. Times Sports (@latimessports) January 28, 2020