Kobe Bryant's death has shocked the world. The fans and stars who love him are beyond disbelief and speechless with grief.
It is a dark day for all Americans and every sports lover across the globe. The world lost one of its greatest NBA stars, Kobe Bryant, unexpectedly. The legendary basketball player died in a helicopter crash on 26 January 2020 before 10 AM, local time, according to the Los Angeles Times.
The crash occurred while the 41-year-old retired star was flying over Calabasas, Los Angeles in his private Sikorsky S-76 chopper. The accident is said to have occurred due to the foggy condition. The chopper went spiraling down and burst into flames, causing a bush fire. The officials stated they received a 911 call at 9:47 AM, local time. However, the firefighters who hiked to the accident spot near Las Virgenes Road and Willow Glen Street in Calabasas found it difficult to extinguish the fire that included magnesium.
Bryant's 13-year-old daughter, Gianna who followed her dad's passion for basketball was also with him on the fateful chopper ride. The father-daughter duo was expected to be at the Mamba Sports Academy in Thousand Oaks for a basketball game that day. Gianna was supposed to play while the ex-Lakers player was expected to coach, according to CNN.
The death of the star and his daughter has shocked the world. Many poured out their grief and conveyed their condolences on social media. NBA Commissioner Adam Silver said, "For 20 seasons, Kobe showed us what is possible when remarkable talent blends with an absolute devotion to winning. He was one of the most extraordinary players in the history of our game with accomplishments that are legendary... He will be remembered most for inspiring people around the world to pick up a basketball and compete to the very best of their ability. He was generous with the wisdom he acquired and saw it as his mission to share it with future generations of players, taking special delight in passing down his love of the game to Gianna."
Los Angeles County Sheriff Alex Villanueva said that the helicopter carried a pilot and eight passengers. The authorities confirmed the death of all nine people. Other victims identified include Orange Coast College baseball coach John Altobelli (56), his daughter Alyssa and wife Keri.
Michael Jordan took to Twitter and said, "Words can't describe the pain I'm feeling. I loved Kobe - he was like a little brother to me. "In a series of tweets, legendary player Magic Johnson too acknowledged the great times he shared with the Oscar-winning player. He said, "I love him, his family and what he stood for on the court and off the court."
Shaquille O'Neal who played along Bryant for years stated, "there's no words to express the pain I'm going through." LeBron James, the Lakers players who just passed Bryant on the league’s all-time scoring list was spotted in tears, according to the New York Post. He was seen walking around with his head down and hugging people following the news. Other players too struggled to hold their emotions.
Celebrities attending the 62nd Grammy Awards too offered their heartfelt condolences. Singer Alicia Keys took to the stage of the Staples Center in Los Angeles, where the Lakers play their home games and said, "We’re literally standing here heartbroken in the house that Kobe Bryant built."
Meanwhile, fans who grew up watching the great player, are in utter disbelief. They are numb from the news that their favorite star is no more. Many gathered outside the staples center to honor the player and mourn his death. The city of Los Angeles is honoring the star by lighting The Mercedes-Benz Stadium, The College Football Hall of Fame, the city hall and the airport in purple and gold, representing the Lakers colors.
Bryant is survived by his wife Vanessa and his three other daughters.