Yesterday (January 26, 2020) the world received some heartbreaking news as we discovered that basketball legend Kobe Bryant was killed in a helicopter crash that had no survivors. Shortly after, the news got worst when it was confirmed that Kobe's 13 year old daughter Gianna Bryant was also on board the flight. Kobe and Gianna were traveling for an away basketball game for the Mamba Academy that Sunday morning when this tragedy occurred. Seven other passengers were also on board the flight and have also lost their lives.
Kobe was a regular user of helicopter travel that dates back to his time with the Los Angeles Lakers. In an interview, Kobe revealed that he started traveling by helicopter to ensure he could spend as much time with his family as possible. The short commute time he achieved by air travel allowed him to drop off and pick up his daughters from school on a regular basis rather than being stuck in traffic. Having this time with his family was very important to him and especially when he was actively playing in the NBA, he would spend a lot of time traveling and on the road which would minimize his time with his family. Since then, traveling by helicopter was a normal thing for him, this past Sunday started no different.
When the news broke, the world went crazy. This is a loss that the entire world felt. Fans were at the Staples Center within the hour to honor and remember the legend. The news rushed the internet and for the entire day, that was all you saw every time you went online or turned on the TV.
As sad as it is, life continues to move on and the NBA games that day continued as scheduled. However, the teams, although heartbroken, found a way to honor Kobe on the court hours after hearing the news. Teams started their games by taking a 24-second shot clock violation, followed by an 8-second violation. The Detroit Pistons had all their players wear numbers 8 and 24 during their recent game. The Dallas Mavericks announced they would be retiring the number 24 in honor of him. The Los Angeles Lakers have yet to make a statement but the NBA did announce that they will postpone their next game against the Los Angeles Clippers until further notice to give the team time to grieve.
Although the accident is still under investigation, it has been reported that the pilot had a difficult time seeing due to the heavy fog that morning, LAPD had even stopped air travel that morning because of the weather conditions. Kobe's helicopter circled for about 15 minutes near the Burbank airport while the pilot was in communication with the airport regarding the heavy fog before proceeding on their travel path. It's reported that the helicopter was too low while flying through the mountains when they tried to take a drastic incline to higher elevation. It's then reported that the helicopter dropped elevation once again as it descended into the crash.
Gianna was a rising basketball star herself, following in her fathers footsteps. Kobe had reported in prior interviews that she had a passion for basketball and wanted to join the WNBA. People had always mentioned to Kobe that he and Vanessa needed to have a son to carry on his legacy. GiGi would jump in and tell them all that she was the one that would take care of that legacy.
This death is one that has been felt by everyone around the world, we are all Kobe fans today. We are all sending our thoughts and prayers to the families. Vanessa has not made a statement yet but we cannot imagine the pain she is going through losing her daughter and husband at the same time. Please continue to send your positives thoughts and prayers to those affected by this loss.
#MambaMentalityForever #RIPKobe #RIPGiGi