NBA legend Kobe Bryant passed away in a helicopter crash on Sunday, in Calabasas, California. The Lakers legend was 41 years old and was heading to the Mamba Academy to when the plane crashed. Kobe Bryant's daughter Gianna Maria Onore, was also on the plane with him. The crash occurred during foggy weather conditions and is currently under investigation. According to reports, there was another basketball player and parent on the helicopter, but nothing has been confirmed yet.
LeBron is met with emotional hugs after landing in Los Angeles following the death of Kobe Bryant.— ESPN (@espn) January 26, 2020
(via NBC4 Los Angeles) pic.twitter.com/Fx9jt2qZVi
LeBron James is seen hugging multiple people in the video, walking forward with his head down. LeBron James had just landed in Los Angles after the LA Lakers vs Philadelphia 76ers game, where he surpassed Kobe Bryant on the all-time scoring list. Philadelphia was also Bryant's home town.
Continuing to move the game forward @KingJames. Much respect my brother 💪🏾 #33644— Kobe Bryant (@kobebryant) January 26, 2020
During the game, LeBron James wore shoes that had 'Mamba 4 Life' written on them as a tribute to the player. After the game, LeBron even talked about Kobe Bryant, remembering the first time when he met him. Kobe Bryant gave LeBron James his shoes when they first met in Philadelphia. For James, it feels like a surreal memory, now that he was playing the Sixers in a Lakers jersey. Even before LeBron James passed him on the all-time scoring list, Bryant had been excited about him achieving the feat and had accepted him as a Laker.
On Saturday night, LeBron James spoke at length about the significance of Kobe’s impact on his life. https://t.co/1lzMRqTqGT— ESPN (@espn) January 27, 2020
Kobe Bryant played with the Lakers for two decades, starting as an 18-year-old rookie in 1996. Bryant retired in 2016, third on the all-time NBA scoring list. He had five NBA championships to his name, winning NBA MVP in 2008. Bryant had a career average of 25 points, 5.2 rebounds and 4.7 assists per game. Kobe Bryant even paired up with LeBron James for the Olympics, winning the country two gold medals in 2008 and 2012 respectively.
Kobe Bryant fans gathered around Staples Center, where the Grammys were being held. Players like Dwyane Wade, DeMar DeRozan played spoke about the Black Mamba, remembering everything that they learnt from them. The Spurs and Raptors stopped their game to honour him. Twenty four was Bryant's jersey number for the second half of his career. Mavericks also paid a tribute, stating that no player will ever wear the 24 number jersey in his honour.