A legend in the world of basketball has died. Kobe Bryant was killed in a helicopter crash in California. His 13-year-old daughter Gianna was among the nine victims and none of the people on board survived. There were a total of four daughters in Kobe Bryant children.
Bryant spent his 20-year career entirely with the “Los Angeles Lakers.” Four years ago, he retired, and at that time, he was the third-leading scorer in the NBA. The shocking news spread quickly, a helicopter crash in the hills of Los Angeles County, killed nine people, including one of the legends of basketball, Kobe Bryant.
It was reportedly Bryant’s own private helicopter and that one of those killed was his daughter, Gianna, a budding basketball player herself. Bryant was married and father of four daughters. Alex Villanueva, Sheriff, Los Angeles County told in his press report that “There were no survivors. We have a manifest indicates that there were nine people on board the aircraft, the pilot and eight individuals.”
At the Toronto Raptors game in San Antonio, there was an immediate tribute to Brian Kobe. Bryant was one of the greatest scorers in the game. He was third all-time, until just yesterday when LeBron James passed his 33643 points. LeBron acknowledged Kobe, his fellow LA Lakers legend, with written notes on his shoes yesterday. Because Kobe, like LeBron, was one of the few players to make the leap from high school to the NBA and go on to a historic career.
Former President Barack Obama wrote “Kobe was a legend on the court and just getting started in what would have been just as meaningful a second act. To lose Gianna is even more heartbreaking to us as parents. Michelle and I send love and prayers to Vanessa and the entire Bryant family on an unthinkable day.”
Known as the Black Mamba, Bryant won five NBA championships was the league MVP, an Olympic gold medalist, and an all-star 18 times into 20-year career all with the Lakers. In his speech in 2018, he said “those times when you don’t feel like working, you’re too tired, you don’t want to push yourself but you do it anyway, that is actually the dream. It’s not the destination, it’s the journey,” to inspire people.
He was one of the first superstars who broke through in China as a symbol of the game that helped launch the NBA into the global sports enterprise it is today. Just hours before the crash, Bryant sent a poignant congratulation to LeBron James as James passed his career scoring mark. Kobe tweeted “Continuing to move the game forward @KingJames. Much respect my brother! #33644”
Kobe was also moving the game forward and had so much time left to do so. He was only 41 years old and he was on the verge of being voted into the Basketball Hall of Fame. The basketball legend is best known to score 81 points in one game. Kobe Bryant who really had that kind of impact on people just the way he played the game is no more with us.