SALEM, Va. (WDBJ) -- Salem resident and NBA writer Roland Lazenby wrote Kobe Bryant's biography, "Showboat: The Life of Kobe Bryant", in 2016.
Salem resident and NBA writer Roland Lazenby discusses Kobe Bryant's life and career
On Sunday, Lazenby reflected on the loss of an icon and a friend in an interview with WDBJ7.
"I was there in Charlotte when Kobe scored his first NBA basket and I was a reporter, so I went to the locker room after and he came bouncing in there and hit me with a soul shake," Lazenby recalled. "He had no idea who I was. He was just eager to greet the world. One of my highlights, and I had many. I talked a lot with Kobe. I talked a lot with him on the phone and in person. I got to know him well. He was the purest competitor and you know, this is just a terrible shock."
Lazenby recalled a particular moment that was captured in a photo with Bryant after he had won his first championship in 2000.
"I'm sitting with Kobe and they have just won the first championship in 2000, and I'm sitting there with my recorder and his fiancée is there with him, and he's got on all the gear and it's in the championship locker room. I love that picture and I'll keep that memory of Kobe happy, successful, in love and on his way."