Kanye West Calls Kobe Bryant 'One of My Best Friends,' Says Death Changed 'Way I Look at Life Now'

The rapper also said that he frequently drives on the road that was the site of the NBA player's helicopter crash

Kanye West is opening up about saying goodbye to “one of my best friends,” Kobe Bryant.

In a new interview with GQ — which happened, in part, just three days after Bryant’s January death — the rapper said the shocking helicopter crash that killed the athlete and his daughter Gianna, 13, would have a lasting impact on his life.

He also revealed that he frequently drives to his office and home on the Calabasas, California, street where the helicopter crashed.

“So now there’s no way for me not to be as determined as Kobe every time I drive down that street,” said West. “It’s game time. There’s no move that we can’t make, or that we’ll wait to make.”

Continued the father of four: “Everyone in our life is now a member of the Lakers on one of Kobe’s championship teams. The way that Kobe would say that we all have to come together and win this championship is the way I look at life now. To an infinite, other level.”

Kanye West, Kobe Bryant
Kevin Mazur/MG19/Getty; Rich Polk/Getty

West, wife Kim Kardashian West and several other members of their family were in attendance at the public memorial for Bryant and his daughter in February at Staples Center.

And shortly after Bryant’s death, West’s wife posted a black-and-white photo of the father-daughter pair on Instagram, writing, “My heart is so heavy.”

Kanye West for GQ
Tyler Mitchell

“No one should ever experience what the families involved are going through,” she continued. “This has affected us all so much but I cannot begin to imagine what Vanessa is feeling losing her husband and her baby girl. I cry just thinking about it. I am praying for the Bryant family, the Altobelli family and the families of all who perished in this unthinkable tragedy. Rest In Peace Legend.”

In the GQ interview, West, 42, said further of the loss of his friend, “This is a game-changer for me. He was the basketball version of me, and I was the rap version of him, and that’s facts!”

“We got the commercials that prove it,” he elaborated. “No one else can say this. We came up at the same time, together. And now it’s like, yeah, I might have had a reputation for screaming about thing — but I’m not taking any mess for an answer now. We’re about to build a paradigm shift for humanity. We ain’t playing with ’em. We bringing home the trophies.”

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