Remembering Chadwick Boseman, Lakers Legend Kobe Bryant Committing To Work Together

Death is an unfortunate reality that comes every day and everywhere for someone across the globe, but it is difficult to shake the feeling 2020 has been particularly unkind. It started with passing of Los Angeles Lakers legend Kobe Bryant, his daughter Gianna, and seven additional passengers in a tragic accident in January.

The world also lost civil rights leader and longtime United States Congressman John Lewis at a time when race relations remains a prevalent issue. Dwight Howard and LeBron James were among the Lakers to emotionally speak about Lewis last month.

Tragedy struck again Saturday night with news of Chadwick Boseman passing at the age of 43. A statement posted to his social media accounts revealed Boseman had privately been battling stage III colon cancer since 2016. It advanced to stage IV as he continued to complete various projects.

“A true fighter, Chadwick persevered through it all and brought you many of the films you have come to love so much,” the statement read. “From ‘Marshall’ to ‘Da 5 Bloods,’ August Wilson’s ‘Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom’ and several more, all were filmed during and between countless surgeries and chemotherapy. It was the honor of his career to bring King T’Challa to life in ‘Black Panther.’”

In March, Boseman was among the guests to appear in Episode 1 of Season 3 of HBO’s “The Shop.” He, along with Kansas City Chiefs quarterback Patrick Mahomes, Maverick Carter, Atlanta Hawks guard Trae Young and others, discussed several topics, including Bryant.

Like many others, Boseman felt as though he knew the five-time champion well despite their limited meetings. He also revealed the two made an early commitment to work together.

“He’s not somebody that I was best friends with or that I knew really well,” Boseman said during the episode. “But the crazy thing is in those four conversations, when he passed, it felt like somebody that I knew really well.

“First time I saw him was before he won the Oscar. It was crazy, because we were sitting at a party, talking about philosophers and poetry. Like, that’s who he was. He was like, ‘This is what I’m into right now as an artist. Not as a basketball player. This is where I’m going right now as an artist.’

“We started talking about it, and I was like, ‘Yo, we should do something together. We should work on something. You’d be an amazing producer.’ I could just see him applying the same type of focus that he’s applied at basketball as a producer or director.

“He looked at me and I saw his eyes go in like he was meditating. His eyes go in like he was seeing it, and he looked up at me and said, ‘Two years.’ It’s like he saw the whole thing unfold. He was like, ‘I need two years.’ I walked away from him and I said to my fiance, ‘Yo, he is who they say he is.'”

Boseman part of Kobe tribute

During NBA All-Star Weekend, which came less than one month after Bryant’s death, there were several tributes and memorials carried out in his honor.

Among them was TNT analyst Kenny Smith producing a photo-based project on Bryant by recreating iconic images with Boseman, Snoop Dogg, Ice Cube, Oshea Jackson Jr. and Common.

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