Jonah Hill Recalls Meeting Kobe Bryant With His Late Brother: 'It's My Favorite Memory'

Jonah Hill and Kobe Bryant
Phillip Faraone/Getty Images / Harry How/Getty Image

'We were literally buzzing with excitement to meet our hero.'

Jonah Hill is reminiscing on a fond memory with his late brother in the wake of Kobe Bryant's death.

The 36-year-old actor took to Instagram on Thursday to share a throwback photo of himself looking uninterested while sitting courtside at a Los Angeles Lakers game. Kobe Bryant, who died in a helicopter crash on Sunday, can be seen in the background of the pic. A second pic reveals that Hill was sitting next to his late brother, Jordan Feldstein at the game. Feldstein died in 2017 of natural causes from a blockage of an artery and a blood clot.

"This picture became a funny internet thing years back and it always made me laugh when I’d see memes of it. 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 captioned the photo. "Ah, your early 20s. It’s a dumb bit but I really liked it at the time."

Though Hill hesitated to post the photo because "it’s usually connected to humor," he ultimately decided to share it because it "represents a LOT more" to him.

"I’m sitting next to my brother and he’s taking this [photo]," he explained. "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!). My brother and I grew up worshiping 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 added. "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."

Hill continued his post, writing that he's "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," he wrote. "But their fleeting nature doesn’t make them any less beautiful."

"I’ve been thinking a lot about saying Rest In Peace and what that means," he continued. "But I don’t think Kobe or my brother are resting. I think they’re hustling up there. Working hard and getting s**t done. Cuz that’s what they do." 

Hill concluded by writing, "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."

Prior to his death, Feldstein managed many music artists, including Maroon 5. ET's Kevin Frazier caught up with Adam Levine, the band's frontman, last year and he reflected on how Feldstein inspired them to perform at the Super Bowl.

"I am here because of me, and I am here because of the band, but I am here because of Jordan. This was our thing, you know? This is what we wanted," Levine said at the time. "Ultimately when looking at all this stuff and needing him and listening for him, that was a huge factor in all of this -- accepting this challenge [to perform] and a challenge it has been, obviously."

"At the end of the day, I know what he wanted me to do, and I know how he would have wanted me to do it," he added. "So, it's gotten me this far, you know? I feel like he is always with me somehow. He is there."

Watch the video below for more of ET's interview with Levine.