In an unfortunate turn of events, the USA and NBA basketball legend Kobe Bryant died in a helicopter crash leaving behind a legacy that’ll forever inspire youngsters.
The retired NBA legend Kobe Bryant, 41, and his daughter Gianna, 13, died in a helicopter crash near Calabasas, California on 26th January, 2020. Bryant and his daughter were two among the nine people who were killed in the fatal crash. They were on their way to a basketball match at Mamba Sports Academy in Thousand Oaks.
Suspected Reasons for the Accident
Bad flying weather conditions is suspected to be the main reason for the accident. However, the Los Angeles police and Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) are probing other possible reasons that may have led to the crash. Post the news of Bryant’s death, all the matches of the Mamba Cup Tournament Series were cancelled.
The news of Kobe Bryant’s tragic death led to an outpour of grief from all corners of the world including various celebrities. Former US President Barack Obama along with various sports personalities paid their tribute to the NBA legend.
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.— Barack Obama (@BarackObama) January 26, 2020
Please don’t let this be True. I’m shaking 💔— Khloé (@khloekardashian) January 26, 2020
Trump’s tweet about Kobe is remarkably similar to Obama’s pic.twitter.com/o19rmexieH— Aaron Rupar (@atrupar) January 27, 2020
I woke up this morning with the horrible news of the tragic death of one of the greatest sportsman in the world. Kobe Bryant, his daughter Gianna and other passengers. My condolences to his wife and families. I am in shock.— Rafa Nadal (@RafaelNadal) January 27, 2020
Statement from Michael Jordan pic.twitter.com/AqLsRWMxl9— Vincent Goodwill (@VinceGoodwill) January 26, 2020
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Absolutely devastated to hear this news today. So many childhood memories of waking up early and watching this magician doing things on the court that I would be mesmerized by. Life is so unpredictable and fickle. His daughter Gianna passed away too in the crash. Iam absolutely Heartbroken. Rest in peace. Strength and condolences to the family 🙏
Kobe Bryant – Career Accomplishments
In 1996, Kobe Bryant was drafted to the NBA directly out of high school by Charlotte Hornets. In 18 of his 20 seasons for the Los Angeles Lakers, Bryant was an ‘All-Star’ and helped Lakers to five championship titles. He remained highly competitive throughout his career. However, his determination to succeed often led to disputes with match officials and other players.
Bryant won NBA’s Most Valuable Player (MVP) Award for the 2007-2008 season and was also the MVP of the NBA Finals in 2009 and 2010. Bryant was a great exponent of his skill and had an illustrious career. On 22nd January, 2006 he scored his career-best, a stunning 81 points, in a win against Toronto Raptors and that till date remains the second-highest single-game total in NBA history.
Olympic Gold Winner
Bryant also featured 12 times in the league’s All-Defense team – an achievement not many others could accomplish. In addition to this, he also represented the USA on the international stage and won gold medals at the 2008 and 2012 Olympics.
On 13th April 2016, Bryant played his final NBA game in which he scored 60 points leading to a surprise win for the last-placed Lakers over the Utah Jazz. Supporters from both the teams cheered Bryant as he shot hoop after hoop at the age of 38.
Surpassing Michael Jordan
In December 2014, Kobe Bryant moved past Michael Jordan in the all-time scoring list – adding another feather to his cap. In 2017, Kobe made his name in the history books as the Lakers officially retired both his no. 8 and no. 24 jerseys.
Kobe Bryant – Controversial Life
Bryant remained in news not only on the court but also off it – albeit for some not-so-good reasons.
Charges of Sexual Assault
In 2003, a 19-year-old hotel employee in Colorado charged Bryant of a sexual assault post which he was arrested. After investigations, the case against Bryant was eventually dropped and a civil suit was settled privately outside the court. However, Bryant publicly apologized for the incident.
Although I truly believe this encounter between us was consensual, I recognize now that she did not and does not view this incident the same way I did. After months of reviewing discovery, listening to her attorney, and even her testimony in person, I now understand how she feels that she did not consent to this encounter – Kobe Bryant post sexual assault charges
Fined for Obscene Remarks
In 2011, he was fined $100,000 for hurling a gay slur at a referee during a game. In 2018, he was again targeted in the wake of #MeToo movement that started in Hollywood.
Kobe Bryant – Life Post Retirement
Despite the ups and downs in his career, Bryant tackled all odds with determination and made a name for himself as one of the greatest ever to grace the court.
He started working for women sports on a large scale and expanded his domain by featuring in films. In 2018, he won an Academy Award for his short film “Dear Basketball”. He created a web series for ESPN called “Detail” in which he analyzed the performance of current players.
Bryant was also scheduled to be a part of the NBA 2020 – Hall of Fame.
Despite his share of controversies, Kobe Bryant was truly an icon of the game. His life has left behind a legacy that will keep inspiring the upcoming generations for years to come.