On Tuesday evening, there was a special broadcast of the popular show Inside the NBA with Shaquille O’Neal, Ernie Johnson, Kenny Smith and Charles Barkley on TNT. Instead of focusing on their usual analysis of the games viewers have been watching and their comical banter with one another, it was a somber show to pay tribute to NBA legend Kobe Bryant.
As we would later find out, there were nine people in total who perished, not the five that we initially heard. And as for those on the plane, there were early inaccurate reports following the news of Kobe that speculated his wife Vanessa and friend and former teammate Rick Fox were in the chopper as well.
When asked what it was like to hear people speculating that he had died while simultaneously going through a state of grief over the news of his good friend, Fox said it was a horrific experience that he handled “moment by moment.”
Eventually, Fox’s lawyer, as well as some family, including Lion Babe singer and stepdaughter Jillian Hervey, publicly shut down claims that Fox was involved.
“This has been a lot to process for all of us,” he said. “We’re blessed to have had the time we had with Kobe. A city is mourning, a family is mourning, we’re all mourning, and I’m glad that’s over with, but it was hard to deal with because it shook a lot of people in my life.”
Watch what Fox said below:
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