Lil Wayne inspired to 'be the best' by Kobe Bryant

Lil Wayne says Kobe Bryant inspired him to "be the best in everything" he does.

The 37-year-old rapper has reflected on the tragic death of the NBA legend - who passed away in January at the age of 41 when his helicopter crashed, killing nine people - as he says he took inspiration from Kobe when he was growing up, because the basketball star would always strive to "be better".

Wayne said: "As a kid, being a fan, watching him on TV, and going to a game and just not knowing him at all - and just being a super fan and knowing, 'Wow he's really that person off the court in every situation in life.' He really has that mentality, just relentless in everything and he strives to be the best in everything. It's impossible to have a conversation with him and walk away from that conversation not trying to be better at something."

The 'Sucker For Pain' hitmaker "admired" Kobe for his legacy, as the sports star became a "champion" of his sport.

He added: "I think the main thing for me is, what I admire the most is how it evolved. He became a champion. It's very hard to become a champion. Not to mention, he did it again - not to mention, he did it again - not to mention, he did it again and then again."

And Wayne also spoke about Kobe's wife Vanessa Bryant, who gave a moving speech at the star's televised memorial in Los Angeles last month.

Speaking in a preview clip for MTV's 'Fresh Out Live', he said: "The admiration comes from after all that ... You listen to Vanessa talk at the [memorial] in Staples Centre the other night, and now you get the full rounding of it. You hear how he was a perfect dad, he was a great dad, and you hear how he was this and that, but you gotta hear that from his children and his wife.

"Vanessa spoke, and you hear that from her. And you see, OK, that's when you're not hearing it no more; you're listening. And then when you listen to Vanessa speak about it, and that's when it just comes full circle, and that's what his legacy was to me. He was, again, relentless and strived to be the best in every single lane there was in life."

Kobe and Vanessa's 13-year-old daughter Gianna was also killed in the helicopter crash.