The Los Angeles Lakers have stamped their dominance in the NBA and have been lauded as one of the most popular teams in the world of basketball.
On Wednesday, the Staples Center will be packed with Lakers admirers; more so, to watch one of the greatest that basketball has produced play his last game. One of these fans, who will surely be in the audience to witness the Lakers battling it out with the Utah Jazz, will be Red Hot Chili Peppers bassist, Flea.
It is no surprise that Flea is a huge admirer of Kobe Bryant. Speaking with Rolling Stone, the musical celebrity gave Bryant what can be called the biggest honor – at least when it comes to music – when he compared the Lakers’ player to “Charlie Parker or John Coltrane or Jimmy Page or Jimi Hendrix.”
“I look at him as someone like, you know, Charlie Parker or John Coltrane or Jimmy Page or Jimi Hendrix, you know? He’s been able to change and evolve and grow and be such a master of his craft,” Flea said.
When he was introduced to Bryant, Flea had already established himself as the bass player for the popular Red Hot Chili Peppers. Recounting his first encounter with Bryant, Flea said, “I went up and said hi to him and shook his hand and stuff. I just knew he was a kid who played high school ball in Philly and we got him from Charlotte.”
Flea has rarely missed any Lakers game since he moved to Los Angeles as an 11-year-old kid in 1972, the Los Angeles Times reports.
“Before the Internet happened, I would be on tour in Europe, I would call up my girlfriend and have her put the phone by the TV and I would listen to Chick [Hearn],” Flea said. “The long-distance bills were intense.”
“Kobe gave us so much,” Flea said. “I just feel grateful to have been able to enjoy it. I felt a lot of despair and anxiety and pain in his career and I felt enormous amounts of joy and awe and just personally being greatly inspired by the gifts that he gave us.”
Flea said he sees many similarities with Bryant, saying that he can relate to the “diligence and discipline and selflessness” Bryant exhibits in his game and performances.
“The main thing that’s always inspired me the most about Kobe is the diligence and discipline and selflessness that it takes to develop that sort of craftsmanship,” Flea said. “Being a diligent person with my own craftsmanship, I really relate to it.”
The bassist for Red Hot Chili Peppers, who have had fans all around the globe ever since their arrival in the music scene, will also be performing the National Anthem before a packed crowd at the Staples Center.