LA Lakers Legend Kobe Bryant Killed in Helicopter Crash.

Memorial+outside+of+the+Staples+Center+in+Los+Angeles+dedicated+to+the+life+of+Kobe+Bryant.

HARRISON HILL, USA TODAY

Memorial outside of the Staples Center in Los Angeles dedicated to the life of Kobe Bryant.

David Henshaw, Sports Editor

LA Lakers Legend Killed with Eight Other People in Helicopter Crash.

In what seemed like a normal Sunday in Los Angeles, it quickly turned to tragedy as news reports broke about Kobe Bryant’s death. The NBA legend, at the age of 41, was in a helicopter crash with his 13-year-old daughter Gianna, long-time pilot, Ara Zobayan, and six other people. The California state police was quick to respond to a hillside, where the crash occurred, in Calabasas (north of Los Angeles), after the National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) has released a statement saying, “…the helicopter was flying in dense fog where it was waiting for a signal to turn back, until it was too late, when it got the message the helicopter was too low after making its 180-degree turn, it crashed into a hillside.” 

Members of the Los Angeles County Police Department were visibly disturbed after making it to the crash site, as they reported that no passengers survived the crash. Meanwhile, in the NBA, thoughts and prayers were sent out to the families and games were already ready and couldn’t be cancelled, the players and fans did not want the games to happen, however it was too late. 

While players played through emotions, they also worked with the opposing team and with one 24-second shot clock violation, came another, in honor of #24. After that teams also, exhibited an 8-second backcourt violation (for Bryant’s #8) until after Sunday ended with a record 16 (one from each team, 8 played) enforced violations. During that time in Los Angeles, fans gathered far and wide to the Staples Center to pay tribute to the late Laker legend, shooting trash balls into a can with the “Kobe” chant and setting up flowers and murals honoring him and his daughter. The Lakers came home to emotional hugs at LAX and LeBron James in tears, after learning the last man to congratulate him passing Kobe on the all-time scoring list was Kobe himself, it was classic for Bryant, in fact that was the last tweet Bryant would send out before his untimely death.

As Sunday would ultimately end on music’s biggest stage, the Grammys, it didn’t stop the Staples Center from shining a spotlight into the rafters, where #8 and #24 are. Most people in heartbreak and shock, Lakers greats missing their brother, while there is a hole that will remain in the sports world for a long time, basketball fans alike come together to remember the Black Mamba, Bryant’s nickname and his daughter.

Murals and memorials set for the man who did it all, five time NBA Champion, 18 time all-star, Olympic Gold medalist, league MVP, Oscar winner, father, and husband, the main thing that he wanted to be was an inspiration and I can speak for everyone on this earth, when I say he was. 

While most people will remember Kobe Bryant as a basketball legend, some people will also remember his way of looking at life and challenges in such, a certain mentality that taught future generations of basketball players and sports personalities to never give up and to hone all of your training, skills, and passion into your craft and achieve excellence no matter where you are.

MAIN SPORTS HEADLINES

  • Super Bowl LIV is set with the champions of the AFC, Kansas City Chiefs and NFC champion, San Francisco 49ers battling it out on February 2nd in Miami on FOX. https://www.nfl.com/super-bowl
  • Buildings and arenas donning the purple and gold in honor of late LA Lakers legend, Kobe Bryant.
  • The XFL will launch on February 8th, with new rules that will create more excitement and less downtime, its inaugural season will begin at Audi Field in the D.C. area as the Seattle Dragons will face the D.C Defenders at 2pm on ABC. https://www.xfl.com/en-US/articles/xfl-releases-2020-schedule

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