Former Lakers general manager Jerry West remembers Kobe Bryant

West remembers his relationship with Bryant and watching Bryant grow in his 20-year NBA career.
3:00 | 01/27/20

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Transcript for Former Lakers general manager Jerry West remembers Kobe Bryant
We're joined now by another legendary players late lead legendary Laker is well hall of Famer all star at the player who went on the coast the lakers as well let me start. We Jerry West what I'm so sorry for your loss to you and also Laker family in your very instrumental. And Colby's early career what was your reaction when you first heard the news. Well. You know first of all hope it isn't true but both. A lot of times you see your reports and raised the data Friday the plane and and I mean a helicopter that went down and then obviously. Someone said it was co we've helicopter amid. He had flown frequently throughout the years or even when he was a lawyer flying from his home. To the games and to practice and after that it really was a retreat. Into the background my association with him. Helping him arrive here in Los Angeles. Watching him grows employer. And being like a surrogate father for. When he was U seventeen years old. Couldn't drive my son Ryan used to driving to the practices. And never been in the 405 prewar U. Never had to have a horrible experience. And then to start thinking about some tenement things that I had done with him to. Help him through their hurdles over a seventeen year old kid. Trying to become an NBA player and take that took enormous amount of talent he had. And to put it within a framework that would helpful lakers be successful for so many years. Tony years career. One of the worst days in my life and everything are prepared do is I had a brother killed in Korea. And just devastated. By. This news. And to watch him transform his life and career. From this icon employer. You have an enormous career and the media business. Good to see him with his young kids. He's young daughters. The joy that was in their looking and her father who obviously loved. To the attention he paid to it two them. To his getting involved in promote promoting women's basketball. But this was a man for all seasons. He was and more than our carve a basketball court. He was someone who inspired. Millions of fans not here. In this state not here in the United States all over the world. All around were arguably was the most pop all around the world particularly particularly starting in Asia. He was beloved. You know you see certain figures. Magic Johnson with his personality. And CoBiz was completely different Herman that big smile. Inviting attitude. And him walking around the street people coming up going. This guy was like a pied piper people follow him everywhere just. Look at him pretty touching him for him to say a low. For me. This is a god awful day. It's it's so apparent that it is as its its sense of written all over your face of in the eloquent way that you spoke about. Coby NT. It's definitely so multifaceted. You're the general manager at the time and in 1996 he's a seventeen year old kid. In Philadelphia you or Chris stated the deal with Charlotte to bring him. To Los Angeles can you just what what's it about have a seven year old kid from Philly what was it about. That you knew he was special. Well. I think you can see special talent and people okay. A lot of people have felt special talent but they wasted or they'd never uses. And I think my corn football today we see some players that. You shake your head my gosh what an opportunity of that in your ruining it we didn't grow and throwing his opportunity. He was never gonna give. And to watch the growth spurt with him to watch the trials and tribulations because. In practice he would dribble through five guys and make a dark okay. You can't win that way and it took him while to understand. That there was a process for him to get involved in place or red team and a team that could win. He became the leader of the pack. Watching him in Shaquille O'Neal was watching. Superman and then. The and Spider-Man. Kobe Bryant was fired or or he could go through holes. New things that no one else could do. And heat I think the clothes he started so young. That he resonated. With so many people are young kids who have hopes and dreams like he did. Watching him go to a summer league game okay. Place was jam packed and my son related story to me just today about. Obviously was there for you scored 29 points to the seventeen year old kid. And after the game here are remarked to my son more that was really easy. To pin you start to thank you thank yourself. A seventeen years of age you caning sign a contract yet. But he would just. People are just the more you're rounding people solve this serious side he was fun. Did he get a laugh can laugh at himself. But has a say he brought. Joy to so many young kids. That. That had the same admiration. And same desire. To do something unique. Jerry ED he talked about it. Jerry the emotion is is playing on your face and in your voice and we know it's a very very different cold day. For you and for all those. In the Laker family and across the world have a passion for basketball we thank you so much Jerry for. Sharing some your memories on such a difficult evening with you we appreciate it Gerri thank you very much. Thanks for having me.

This transcript has been automatically generated and may not be 100% accurate.

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