Los Angeles Lakers star Kobe Bryant made history Wednesday night when he played his final game against the Utah Jazz, but before he took the court, Red Hot Chili Peppers’ Flea, a notable Lakers-obsessed basketball fan who’s had season tickets since 1997, performed the National Anthem on bass.
“I look at [Bryant] as someone like, you know, Charlie Parker or John Coltrane or Jimmy Page or Jimi Hendrix, you know?” Flea said in an interview with Rolling Stone prior to the game. “He’s been able to change and evolve and grow and be such a master of his craft. It’s been great seeing him grow up, because he joined the Lakers when he was 17, and he’s done so much for our city.”
He continued, “To me, Kobe is just like a great artist or a great writer or a great musician. A great basketball player really affects me in a emotional and spiritual way. So I really respect Kobe Bryant. I’m really grateful for him.”