Mark Cuban appeared on The View on Tuesday, where he shared a heartwarming story about Kobe Bryant. Cuban was there with Kevin O'Leary to promote the new season of Shark Tank, but along the way he discussed his NBA connections as well.
Cuban is a partial owner of the Dallas Mavericks, so he knows a bit about the NBA. He was even in contact with Kobe Bryant from time to time before the NBA legend's death last month. He revealed that he recently discovered an old text conversation between himself and Bryant.
"You know how sometimes you'll pick up old phones and turn them on? I was doing that three days before the All-Star [Game] and I picked up the phone and I had a whole string of messages with Kobe just talking about doing business after his retirement, how he was coming onto my turf and I was gonna kick his ass in the business world," Cuban said.
The Shark Tank personality added that Bryant did not back down in the conversation, telling him: "Let's go at it." He went on to say that the outpouring of grief for Bryant was inspiring in its own way.
"Kobe just is a legend," he said. "Let me just say this: The best thing out of this tragedy, it was the first time I've ever seen people who have never seen each other, know each other, come together and hug, cry kiss each other. That's his legacy forever. We'll love him forever."
Bryant was honored in a massive memorial event on Monday called "A Celebration of Life." Hosted at the Staples Center in downtown Los Angeles, it accommodated about 20,000 guests including friends, family and fans who paid their respects to Bryant, his 13-year-old daughter Gianna and the others who died in the tragic helicopter crash.
Bryant was remembered by former teammates and colleagues in the world of sports, including Shaquille O'Neal and Michael Jordan. Their speeches ranged from light and celebratory to emotional and heavy. His wife Vanessa delivered the most heartbreaking tribute of all.
"God knew they couldn't be on this earth without each other. He had to bring them home to him together," she said through tears at the end of her speech. "Babe, you take care of our Gigi. And I got Nati, Bibi and Coco. We're still the best team. We love and miss you, Boo Boo and Gigi. May you both rest in peace and have fun in heaven until we meet again one day. We love you both and miss you. Forever and always. Mommy."
Bryant and Gianna were flying from Orange County to Thousand Oaks, California when their helicopter crashed on Sunday, Jan. 26. There were two other teenage girls and five other adults on the aircraft, and there were no survivors.