NBA legend Kobe Bryant passed away on Sunday night (Monday morning IST) in a helicopter crash in Calabasas, 48 km north-west of Los Angeles. The 41-year-old was travelling on his private chopper along with 8 other people when it went down and a fire broke out. The Los Angeles Lakers Legend was respected for his professionalism in the sporting world.
Jose Mourinho speaking about Kobe Bryant not long ago. It doesn’t matter what sport you follow, he was an icon and inspiration to many people. pic.twitter.com/UY7F483UJc— The Man Utd Way (@TheManUtdWay) January 26, 2020
During a pre-match press conference few days back, Tottenham Hotspur manager Jose Mourinho had lauded Kobe Bryant as a great professional. Mourinho had then commented that if one wished to look up to someone for professional ethics, it had to be Kobe Bryant, who was a serial winner in his sport. Jose Mourinho had also quoted Kobe Bryant, saying that ‘People say that I am difficult, but I am only difficult for the ones who don’t share my principles’. He also asserted that Kobe's colleagues, who had similar principles as that of the legend himself, adored him.
Despite timely assistance from emergency personnel, none of the people travelling in the helicopter survived. Along with Kobe Bryant, his daughter Gianna Maria Onore Bryant and 8 other people including the pilot were killed in the accident.
Kobe Bryant dominated the game for almost two decades with the Los Angeles Lakers, winning five championships and featuring in 18 All-Star Games. The legend had announced his retirement following the 2016 season. The stunning death of the shooting guard came just hours after he toasted fellow NBA icon and current Laker LeBron James for surpassing him on the league’s all-time scoring list at third position. Kobe Bryant was also one of the favourites to be inducted into the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame set to be announced next month.