The actor, 36, shared an Instagram photo Feldstein took of him with Bryant while courtside at a Laker’s game.
“This picture became a funny internet thing years back and it always made me laugh when I’d see memes of it,” Hill wrote in the caption. “I used to love “on purpose, very awkward photos” whenever I was around someone I respected and this is about as comically awkward as it gets.”
He continued, “Ah, your early 20s. It’s a dumb bit but I really liked it at the time. I hesitate to post this as it’s usually connected to humor. But for me, this photo represents a LOT more.”
“I’m sitting next to my brother and he’s taking this. It was the night we both met Kobe and he was so nice to us. So funny, so amazing and so kind (in the middle of a game!),” Hill wrote in the post. “My brother and I grew up worshiping [sic] the Lakers and because of my job we got to sit next to Kobe and the whole team! I have lived a privileged life. Truly.”
Hill continued, “We were literally buzzing with excitement to meet our hero and it’s one of my favorite memories ever. It’s my favorite memory with my brother. I’m sitting between Kobe and my brother and now they’re both gone. I have been staring at this photo for days in disbelief and sadness and joy. It’s my favorite picture and I think it represents for me, all of the hard and amazing things in life and how fleeting they are. But their fleeting nature doesn’t make them any less beautiful.”
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The Wolf of Wall Street actor added, “I’ve been thinking a lot about saying Rest In Peace and what that means. But I don’t think Kobe or my brother are resting. I think they’re hustling up there. Working hard and getting s— done. Cuz that’s what they do. All my love to the ones here left behind. Take care of each other and love each other. That’s the lesson I’ve learned. ❤️.”
Feldstein died at the age of 40 on Dec. 22, 2017 as a result of a blood clot that originated in his leg. He was CEO and founder of Career Artist Management (CAM), a leading management firm in Beverly Hills, California, and was the manager for Maroon 5.
Bryant, 41, and his daughter Gianna, 13, both died in a helicopter crash on Sunday alongside seven other people: John Altobelli, Keri Altobelli, Alyssa Altobelli, Sarah Chester, Payton Chester, Christina Mauser and pilot Ara Zobayan.
Sources told ESPN that the helicopter was headed to a travel basketball game for Gianna and that the other passengers were another player and their parent.
Bryant is survived by Vanessa, 37, and their daughters Natalia, 17, Bianka, 3, and Capri, 7 months.
Days after the deadly incident, Vanessa shared her first public statement in an emotional post on Instagram Wednesday, telling fans she’s “devastated” over the loss of her “adoring” husband and their “beautiful, sweet” daughter Gianna.
“We are also devastated for the families who lost their loved ones on Sunday, and we share in their grief intimately. There aren’t enough words to describe our pain right now,” she said. “I take comfort in knowing that Kobe and Gigi both knew that they were so deeply loved. We were so incredibly blessed to have them in our lives. I wish they were here with us forever. They were our beautiful blessings taken from us too soon.”
The mother of four continued, “I’m not sure what our lives hold beyond today, and it’s impossible to imagine life without them. But we wake up each day, trying to keep pushing because Kobe, and our baby girl, Gigi, are shining on us to light the way. Our love for them is endless — and that’s to say, immeasurable. I just wish I could hug them, kiss them and bless them. Have them here with us, forever.”
In her statement, Vanessa also announced that the Mamba Sports Foundation set up the MambaOnThree Fund to “help support the other families affected by this tragedy.”