It has taken me all day to make this post about legendary basketball star Kobe Bryant. I am a huge basketball fan. I had the pleasure of witnessing MJ’s greatness, but Kobe is more apart of my generation. To hear that he passed away this morning along with his daughter was devastating.
NBA legend Kobe Bryant, his 13-year-old daughter and seven others were killed in a helicopter crash on a steep hillside in dense morning fog in Southern California on Sunday, his sudden death at age 41 touching off an outpouring of grief for a star whose celebrity transcended basketball.
Bryant, an all-time basketball great who spent his entire 20-year career with the Los Angeles Lakers, was among the victims, a person familiar with the situation told The Associated Press.
Bryant’s 13-year-old daughter Gianna also was killed, a different person familiar with the case said.
News of the superstar’s death rocketed around the sports and entertainment worlds, with many taking to Twitter to register their shock, disbelief and anguish.
“Words can’t describe the pain I am feeling. I loved Kobe — he was like a little brother to me,” retired NBA great Michael Jordan said. “We used to talk often, and I will miss those conversations very much. He was a fierce competitor, one of the greats of the game and a creative force.”
Former President Barack Obama, who hosted Bryant and the Lakers at the White House following the team’s 2010 NBA Championship, said: “Kobe was a legend on the court and just getting started in what would have been just as meaningful a second act. To lose Gianna is even more heartbreaking to us as parents. Michelle and I send love and prayers to Vanessa and the entire Bryant family on an unthinkable day.”
On Saturday night, LeBron James passed Bryant as basketball’s third-highest scorer of all-time. Bryant tweeted his congratulations to James following the game in Philadelphia, which also happens to be Bryant’s hometown.
Kobe won five championships with the Lakers, the organization where he spent his entire twenty year career.
After retiring from the NBA, Bryant dug further into his Hollywood roots and launched a production company, Granity, which focused on projects that blended both sports and entertainment. He would later win an Oscar in 2018 for the short film, “Dear Basketball,” directed by Glen Keane, which was based on a poem Bryant wrote.
Several documentaries covered Kobe’s life and career, including Spike Lee’s 2009 “Kobe Doin’ Work” and “Kobe Bryant’s Muse,” a 2015 Showtime special.
Bryant is survived by his wife, Vanessa, and three daughters, Natalia, Bianca and Capri.
Ms. Culture Keeper-