Lil Wayne was sitting courtside at a recent Lakers playoff game, cheering on his favorite player, Kobe Bryant, whom the rapper says has inspired much more than just his music.
"He's inspired not only songs, but he's inspired me in life in general just the way he attacks things, the way he never backs down, the way he fights through injury," Lil Wayne said.
"Not only do he fight through injury, and not only do he play through injury, he excel through injury. I take those type of things and I just apply them to my everyday life."
Lil Wayne's description of Bryant could not be more accurate.
This season Bryant scored at least 40 points in four consecutive games despite a torn ligament in his right wrist and he scored 30 points or more over a five-game stretch even though he wore a mask to protect his broken nose.
"I believe he's the greatest player to touch a basketball," Lil Wayne said.
Lil Wayne, one of the most revered artsts in hip-hop, said he grew up watching Bryant. The rap star and the basketball star have on multiple occasions publicly expressed their admiration for each other.
"I learned a lot from Kobe," Lil Wayne said.
Though Lil Wayne has a diamond grill and sits only a few feet from the sideline, he said he comes to games as an anonymous fan and doesn't expect any recognition from the players.
"This is the playoffs, I dont expect them to acknowledge me. I dont even expect them to notice me," he said.
When told by a reporter that some of the Lakers have said that Lil Wayne is one of their favorite artists, he cracked a hint of a smile.
"I hope so," he said.