The comedian reflected on the late NBA star's legacy in an uplifting speech given during Monday's taping of her talk show. Ellen, who last sat down with Kobe in April 2019, struggled to hold back tears as she urged audience members and fans of the athlete to savor every moment of life.
"Today is Monday. Yesterday was Sunday and it happened to be my birthday and the Grammy Awards. I was nominated. I didn't win. Not the point," DeGeneres joked.
She continued, "Yesterday was a celebratory day and we got tragic news about Kobe Bryant and everything changed in a second. That's what I want to talk about. Life is short and it's fragile. We don't know how many birthdays we have. We don't have to have a birthday to celebrate, just celebrate life."
"If you haven't told someone you love them, do it now. Tell people you love them. Call your friends. Text your friends. Hug them. Kiss them. Be nice to people at the DMV. They're people!" Ellen remarked between tears.