Late-Night Hosts Offer Emotional Personal Tributes to Kobe Bryant: TRAINA THOUGHTS


1. Reaction to the helicopter crash that killed Kobe Bryant, his daughter Gianna, John Altobelli, Kerry Altobelli, Alyssa Altobelli, Sarah Chester, Patyon Chester, Christian Mauser and Ara Zobayan continues to dominate the news cycle, with tributes pouring in from fans, athletes, media, celebrities and more.

Late-night talk show hosts, who all seemingly had special relationships with Bryant, shared personal tributes to the NBA legend Monday night 

Jimmy Kimmel went with no studio audience, saying at the top of his show, "Going forward with a comedy show didn't feel right." 

A teary Kimmel opened with an eloquent four-and-a-half-minute monologue in which he shared personal anecdotes about Kobe checking in with him "repeatedly" after his son, Billy, had surgery and a book that Kimmel had given Bryant as a gift.

Kimmel also hit the perfect note saying, "Yes, I know he was not a perfect person. I understand that. My intention is not to canonize him or make judgments about things I don't know anything about, but I will say he loved his family, he worked very hard and he brought a lot of joy to a lot of people in this city and we're gonna miss him." 

Kimmel then went on to air clips from Kobe's numerous appearances on his show.

Jimmy Fallon broke down while telling a funny story about him and Kobe trying to buy beer one night.

James Corden talked about Kobe's popularity in Britain despite the NBA not being a big thing there.

Conan O'Brien highlighted Bryant's sense of humor saying, "He was naturally very funny and charming" before showing clips of Bryant generating big laughs from the studio audience. 

2. Kevin Harlan, who was behind the mic calling games throughout Kobe's entire career, shared stories and memories about Bryant on the latest SI Media Podcast.

Harlan was booked to be on the podcast this week to talk about calling the Super Bowl this Sunday for Westwood One Radio. When we taped the interview Monday afternoon, Harlan was set to call tonight's Clippers-Lakers game for TNT. As you know by now, the NBA ended up postponing the game Monday night. 

We made the decision, though, to post the podcast as is because the discussion about Harlan calling the game is only a small part of the interview. The first half of the show is about Kobe and the second half is about the Super Bowl.

You can listen to the podcast below or download it on Apple, Spotify, Stitcher and Google Play.

3. As I said above, Kevin Harlan was supposed to call tonight's Clippers-Lakers game with Reggie Miller and Chris Webber, but the game won't be played. However, TNT will air a one-hour tribute show to Kobe Bryant tonight, beginning at 7 p.m. ET, prior to the Celtics-Heat game.

The show will take place outside the Staples Center and will feature Ernie Johnson, Shaquille O'Neal, Charles Barkley and Kenny Smith. They will be joined by Dwyane Wade, Candace Parker, Steven Nash and others.

4. A lot of media members have posted thoughtful remembrances of Kobe, but I wanted to highlight what Tony Reali said on yesterday's Around the Horn, because he did not speak so much about Kobe, but more about grief, which is something each and every one one of us can relate to.

5. Earl Campbell is one of the best running backs in NFL history. Yesterday, he called SiriusXM radio host, Chris "Mad Dog" Russo as a regular caller on the regular call-in number as "Earl in Austin" to talk about Kobe Bryant, which left Russo in shock 

6. If you bet the Minnesota Timberwolves last night, it might be time to take a little break..

7. RANDOM YOUTUBE VIDEO OF THE DAY: This is what happens when someone is a Toy Story fan, an Andy Reid fan and too much of a sports fan.

Be sure to catch up on past editions of Traina Thoughts and check out the Sports Illustrated Media Podcast hosted by Jimmy Traina on iTunes, Spotify or Stitcher. You can also follow Jimmy on Twitter and Instagram.

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