On the morning of January 26th, 2020, NBA legend Kobe Bryant passed away in a fatal helicopter crash that took the lives of nine people, including Bryant and his 13 year old daughter, Gianna. This tragic news left the sports world in shock, as Bryant was one of the greatest basketball players of our generation and arguably one of the greatest of all time.
On the Sunday morning of January 26th, Kobe Bryant (41), Gianna Bryant (13), Payton Chester (13), Sarah Chester (45), Alyssa Altobelli (14), Kery Altobelli (46), John Altobelli (56), and Cristina Mauser (38) boarded a helicopter en route to a youth basketball tournament flown by Ara Zobayan (50).
Shortly after taking off towards Thousand Oaks, California, the helicopter crashed into a mountainside 30 miles northwest of downtown Los Angeles. Every person aboard the helicopter was pronounced dead at the scene and have been confirmed dead. According to an article from CNN, the National Transportation Safety Board is still investigating the tragic accident.
The news was first announced by TMZ on Twitter, causing the Internet to go into chaos.
The reaction and support from those all over the world was massive, with people who aren’t even involved in the sports community reaching out to their fans and expressing their sadness over the death of such an icon.
One of these very well known figures who posted about Kobe was NBA superstar LeBron James, who now plays for Bryant’s former team, the Los Angeles Lakers. In an Instagram post a couple of days after the accident, James wrote “I promise you I’ll continue your legacy man!”
One of the celebrities who took to social media to pay their respects to Kobe and the others involved in the crash was late night talk show host Jimmy Kimmel, who was also a very close friend of Bryant. Kimmel highlighted his life outside of basketball and how good of a father he was to his four daughters.
Once news broke, fans began to congregate around the Staples Center, where Bryant played all 20 years of his career in the NBA for the Lakers. The mass of people around the arena only grew in the coming days and throughout the next week a shrine was built commemorating the life of Kobe Bryant.
Kobe Bryant’s impact was felt across the entire world, not just the sports community. As a 5-time NBA Champion, 18-time All Star, and MVP award winner, Bryant is one of the greatest players to step foot on an NBA court. However, his achievements and life off the court is what many will remember him for. Kobe won an Oscar in 2018 for his animated short film “Dear Basketball” and above all else, he was a phenomenal father to his four daughters.
The sports world will never be the same after a loss of this magnitude, but Kobe’s legacy will live on through all the fans and teammates that had the privilege of watching and playing alongside one of the greats.