"I think it's a collective pain when such a leader dies," the actress said, still reeling from the news the Lakers legend had perished in Sunday's helicopter crash along with eight others, including his beloved 13-year-old daughter Gianna.
Selma said Kobe was bigger than Hollywood, who's influence was felt not just here in his home of LA, but everywhere around the world.
The "Cruel Intentions" star, who lives with multiple sclerosis, said the mantra of "life is short - hug the ones you love" is one she lives by every day, and one that always resonates deepest in the face of such tragedy.
"I live that way every day," she said. "I mean, life is too short for some, too long for others. I mean it just depends how you're feeling in that moment; but when something so memorable goes for people, it always has you consider what is the strength in your own life."
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She added: "I do, I live my life with that in mind all the time."
Kobe and Gigi were on their way to a practice session at his Mamba Academy in Thousand Oaks when tragedy struck on Sunday, just 17km shy of their destination.
Also among the dead were John and Keri Altobelli and their basketball-playing daughter Alyssa; mother and daughter Sarah and Payton Chester; Mamba Academy basketball coach Christina Mauser; and pilot Ara Zobayan.
"Loss of the great. May we all grieve in love and respect," Selma wrote on Instagram. "For what he brought. For his family. This beautiful child. The others who perished #shock #mamba #gigi go with G-d."