Snoop Dogg is one of the most famous celebrity Los Angeles Lakers fans in all of pop culture. During his rise to stardom in Hip Hop throughout the ’90s, it happened to coincide with the blossoming of Kobe Bryant, who Snoop ended up cultivating a close friendship with.
Snoop joined HBO’s Winning Time Podcast on Monday (April 11) where he explored all avenues of his Laker fandom, including the time he gifted Kobe Bryant a Lakers car when the late NBA legend retired in 2016.
“What I did was I had built a Laker car, yes,” he said. “And I built it in his name and I was like, damn, what could I give him as a gift for retirement? Everybody’s gonna give him a basketball or some regular shit, a tie. I’m like, I’m trying to get this…That’s gonna be memorable that when he sees it, he ain’t gonna understand it.
But he’s gonna know what it means. So I built the car all the way up…White interior, yellow purple had all the OG Lakers, the Showtime Lakers on the front spray painted chick…Wow.”
The Death Row icon recalled riding with him in the car from the airport to his house and being able to tell Kobe how much he meant to him as a Laker die hard.
“So pick him up,” he continued. “He flies out here, I pick him up, put him in the passenger seat. I got GoPros and shit all in the car. Me and him riding for, from LAX to my spot and people riding the side of us like, ‘Is that Snoop and Kobe?’ And you could just see, he ain’t never been in the low rider cuz he’s sitting up like this. I’m like, ‘You gotta lean back!’
“But I felt honored to be able to have him come see me that day because it was just about me and him just chopping it up after his retirement and me just wanting to tell him how much he meant to me and the family. And then I ended up blessing him with the gift, but he blessed us with a gift. He touched everybody in this muthafucka that day.”
— Kobe Bryant (@kobebryant) July 7, 2016
Kobe Bryant tragically passed away in a helicopter crash on January 26, 2020, which claimed the lives of his daughter Gianna “Gigi” Bryant and seven others on board.
Listen to the podcast below.