Los Angeles and the rest of the world are still coming to terms with the tragic and devastating news of Lakers legend Kobe Bryant’s passing. The athlete died in a helicopter crash Sunday morning in Calabasas. His 13 year-old daughter, Gianna, as well as 7 other people traveling with the Bryants, also died in the crash.
“I think like everybody in Los Angeles, I woke up this morning and just felt it was just a terrible nightmare,” radio personality Matt “Money” Smith told Seacrest on-air on Monday, January 27. “And unfortunately it just keeps getting worse obviously with the children involved. … You just can’t imagine that this is the way it ends.”
Smith worked alongside the Lakers as a reporter for five years and recalled Bryant was always “very kind with his time” and that he treated everyone with utmost respect and attention.
“I was so excited to talk to him,” Seacrest added while recalling the first time he met Kobe during the 2012 London Olympics. “… I just remember doing the interview and then afterwards us joking about my height. … I remember the two of us going ‘Oh my gosh, look how short I am,’” Seacrest lightheartedly added.
The OAWRS host added that hosting the E! Grammys red carpet just hours after learning the news was indeed difficult.
“We planned to talk to people about all kinds of different things … and it was all that was on my mind,” Seacrest shared. “I was not even 100% there. I was on the air. I was doing my job, … but I physically felt ill. My heart sank; my stomach felt sick.”
Click here to see how Seacrest and the rest of the Grammys handled Bryant’s tragic passing and listen back to the audio above for more.