The tragic death of NBA legend Kobe Bryant shook the world on Jan. 28 and, a week later, many are still trying to come to terms with such a loss. Red Hot Chili Peppers' Flea was a contemporary of the basketball star and sat in with ESPN, delivering a powerful statement about Bryant's growth since joining the Los Angeles Lakers at 17 years old.

"I remember Kobe Bryant as person evolving — a person always evolving. And as such an iconic fixture of the L.A. landscape, he was someone we all loved," said Flea. "He came when he was 17 years old to the Lakers. I met him when he was 17 years old, the bassist went on, noting Bryant's transition into a team player and leader after playing the game perhaps a bit selfishly when he entered the league.

Flea Plays National Anthem at Kobe Bryant's Last Game

"Then he retires and we watch him evolve even more," Flea went on, noting, "He’s a storyteller — he’s putting out kids’ books. He’s coaching a girls basketball team and to see him go like this is just devastating [as well as the loss of] his beautiful little girl [Gianna]."

The unexpected loss forced the Chili Peppers bassist to dig deep as he comprehended the loss, stating, "For me it’s a time of mourning. It’s been a time of a lot of prayer and it really tests faith to come to terms to understand why something like this happens."

Even in a tragedy such as this, Flea found a positive outlook, expressing how the NBA star continues to unify a diverse group of people.

"One of the reasons I love sports and love basketball in particular, it brings us all together — every economic class, every race, every flavor of human being — we come together because we love this beautiful thing," the bassist said.

"It's a craft," Flea continued, "Basketball is an art and just like that brings us together and brings us all under this umbrella of this incredible art form that we watch people innovate and take further and further and deeper, so does Kobe's death bring us together. And we all come together and we can all cry and we can all realize that something momentous has happened and that we will never be the same. And in this city, it will never be the same. So in his life as in his death, he brings us together and it's togetherness and for that I express gratitude."

Watch the full ESPN interview clip below.

Flea Remembers Kobe Bryant on ESPN

Rockers Mourn the Death of Kobe Bryant

Flea (Red Hot Chili Peppers)

Paul Stanley (KISS)

Jason Aalon Butler (Fever 333)

Andy Biersack (Black Veil Brides)

Billy Idol

David Coverdale (Whitesnake)

Telle Smith (The Word Alive)

Selfish Things


Vernon Reid (Living Colour)

Spencer Charnas (Ice Nine Kills)

Shavo Odadjian (System of a Down)

Dino Cazares (Fear Factory)

Riki Rachtman

Phil Labonte (All That Remains)

Chris Kael (Five Finger Death Punch)

Jeff Scott Soto (Sons of Apollo)

Ice-T (Body Count)

Doc Coyle (Bad Wolves)

Travis Barker (Blink-182)

Chuck D. (Prophets of Rage)

Papa Roach

Eddie Trunk

Clint Lowery (Sevendust)

Phil Demmel (Vio-Lence)

Chris Fronzak (Attila)

Joe Bonamassa


Jack Osbourne

Scott Stapp

Mike Portnoy (Sons of Apollo)

Gilby Clarke (Ex-Guns N' Roses)

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