During his playing days, Lakers legend Kobe Bryant made headlines for breaking numerous records and also winning MVP awards. He retired after the 2015-16 season as a 5-time NBA champion and one-time league MVP. He was an 18-time All-Star and played his entire career as a member of the Lakers. He retired from NBA after scoring 60 points against the Utah Jazz in April 2016.
The sudden death of Kobe Bryant saw NBA fans gather outside the Staples Center to pay tribute to the player who spent his entire NBA career playing for the Purple and Gold of the Lakers. Golf legend Tiger Woods was also left stunned following Bryant's death after finding out the news hours later after his final round at the 2020 Farmers Insurance Open. While speaking to New York Post, Woods’ caddie Joe LaCava said that he thought it would be better off not telling Woods while he was playing.
He said that Woods was not in the mindset where he couldn’t play golf, but he figured he would have to wait to the end to reveal the news. He added that he waited until both of them got into the tunnel on 18 [after his round was complete] to tell him because he didn’t want the cameras on Woods and see the shock on his face.
Tiger Woods reflects on the tragic passing of NBA legend Kobe Bryant. pic.twitter.com/t4F2Sqj57Z— PGA TOUR (@PGATOUR) January 26, 2020
Tiger Woods too mourned the demise of his friend Kobe Bryant and said that he didn't know until his caddie LaCava told him while coming off the 18th green. He also added that he didn't understand why people in the gallery were saying, 'Do it for Mamba.' He furthur added that he is unbelievably sad and it's one of the more tragic days. Tiger Woods also went onto say that life is very fragile and you can be gone at any given time and we have to appreciate the moments that we have. He just can't imagine what his family is going through right now.
Tiger Woods said that Kobe Bryant burnt competitively hot and had the desire to win. He brought it each and every night on both ends of the floor. He also added that he was obviously dominant on the offensive side, but anytime he was in the game, he'd take on their best player and shut him down for all 48 minutes. That was one of the more impressive things throughout his entire career.
According to reports, the helicopter turned left at 9:40 AM to head southeast. However, it disappeared into the fog surrounding the area. They were flying at around 2000 level above sea level with a speed of 184 mph. While crashing, the helicopter was reportedly travelling at a speed for 45 mph which is approximately 4,000 feet per minute. The Sikorsky S-76 crashed near Las Virgenes Road and Willow Glen street in Calabasas. Locals called 911 at 9:47 AM. Responders on the scene included 56 fire personnel (firefighters, a helicopter with paramedics and hand crews) and sheriff's deputies. According to the LA County Fire Chief Daryl Osby, the fire had spread a quarter of an acre.
Kobe Bryant, who fondly called his daughter 'Gigi', was heading towards his Mamba Academy for a basketball practice when their helicopter crashed. The Academy is located in Thousand Oaks. He was the coach of Gianna's AAU basketball game called “The Mambas.” Kobe Bryant and Gianna Bryant were spotted last month sitting courtside at a Brooklyn Nets game in New York City, where they seemed to be discussing about basketball.