The City of Los Angeles and basketball fans around the world mourn the loss of a legend, Kobe Bryan. Kobe, along with his daughter Gianna Byrant who was only 13, and seven others, was in a horrific helicopter accident while en route to one of Gianna’s basketball games. On Jan, 26. the aircraft crashed in the city of Calabasas, killing all passengers aboard. The official report curated by the National Transportation Safety Board is due to be released sometime during the week of Feb 2. The report will contain facts of the case rather than determining the cause of the crash. For more up to date information regarding the NTSB investigation, check out their website at https://www.ntsb.gov/investigations/Pages/DCA20MA059.aspx.
For fans, the loss of the incredible athlete known as Kobe Bryant came as a shock, it truly felt as though the world stopped when the news of the athlete broke. The Lakers VS Clippers basketball game scheduled for the following Tuesday after the accident was postponed to a different date. In the official NBA statement release, “the decision was made out of respect for the Lakers organization, which is deeply grieving the tragic loss of Lakers legend Kobe Bryant, his daughter Gianna and seven other people in a helicopter crash on Sunday.” As of now, there is no official rescheduled date for the game. For updated information, follow the official NBA Twitter account.
When the news of the tragedy was made public, the city of Las Vegas postponed their unveiling of the new slogan. Marquees with #OnlyVegas were replaced with “L.A., our hearts go out to you” and “#RIPKobe.”
During the Lakers vs. Portland game on Friday, Jan 31, the Lakers paid tribute to Kobe, his daughter, and the seven other passengers on board. Singer-songwriter Usher performed the song “Amazing Grace, “Boys II Men sang the national anthem, and artist Wiz Khalifa and Charlie Puth performed their song “See You Again.” Current Lakers player LeBron James spoke to the crowd and how the Lakers family will never forget Kobe’s contributions to the game of basketball.
(Lebron’s speech begins in the video at 19:40)
Before the game, there was a moment of silence held for 24.2 seconds to honor those lives lost. Twenty-four for Kobe’s last retiring number, and two for Gianna, which was the number she wore while on the court. During the game, two courtside seats were left empty and draped over with two jerseys and roses. One jersey being Kobe’s former Lakers jersey and the other Gianna’s Mamba Sports Academy jersey. Before the start of the Super Bowl on Sunday, Feb 2, the NFL also honored Kobe and the other victims of the helicopter crash.