The General Manager of the Lakers, Rob Pelinka, has revealed the final text messages he exchanged with Kobe Bryant moments before the fatal helicopter crash that took his life.
On Monday, February 24, Los Angeles Lakers general manager Rob Pelinka gave an emotional speech during the public memorial for the late NBA star where he revealed the final text message that he and Kobe Bryant exchanged.
Not only was Pelinka Kobe’s general manager, but he was also his agent and friend before he took on the Lakers position in 2017. Pelinka revealed that Kobe reached out to him on January 26, the same day that he died in the tragic helicopter crash.
Pelinka said that Kobe reached out to him hoping to find a baseball agent to help the daughter of one of his friends. He recalled the fateful day, saying:
“I grabbed my phone and texted Kobe back that I had seen the baseball agent at a Lakers game just the other night and was happy to help him with whatever he wanted.”
“It was now just past 9:30. Kobe texted back explaining his desire to help a friend of his secure a baseball agency internship for one of his young daughters,” he said. “Kobe vouched for the girl’s character, intellect and work ethic. He clearly wanted to champion a bright future for her.”
The text exchange between Pelinka and Kobe happened just minutes before the helicopter crashed into the hillside in Calabasas, California.
“I texted Kobe right back and said I would put a plan in motion to help get that done,” said Pelinka. “A handful of minutes later, Kobe and Gianna and seven other beautiful souls ascended into heaven. Kobe had been texting me from the helicopter.”
Pelinka ended his emotional speech, saying, “Kobe’s last human act was heroic. He wanted to use his platform to bless and shape a young girl’s future. Hasn’t Kobe done that for all of us?”
Kobe and Gianna Bryant were laid to rest on February 7 during a private funeral. Several speakers took the stage to pay tribute at the Staples Center in Los Angeles on Monday.
The heartbreaking eulogy given by Kobe’s wife, Vanessa Bryant, made headlines. She told the crowd, “They were so easy to love. They were funny, happy, silly and they loved life. They were so full of joy and adventure. God knew they couldn’t be on this Earth without each other. He had to bring them home to have them together.”
Vanessa has since filed a lawsuit; lawyers are working to help prove that the pilot didn’t follow proper safety precautions and shouldn’t have been flying the helicopter that day.