Famous five-time NBA champion Kobe Bryant lost his life in a helicopter crash that took place in Calabasas, California. The incident took away the life of nine people on the helicopter including 41 years old basketball champion and his 13 years old daughter, Gianna.
NBA players showed their condolence towards this incident and the players are highly regretting the absence of the player. Achieving fame at a tender age of 18 years, Kobe Bryant played for Los Angeles Lakers for 20 long years. Basketball players went into complete shock with the death news of famous Bryant.
Kobe Bryant’s fellow players are of the opinion that the great loss in basketball will be felt in Beijing to Berlin and even beyond that. In this regard, AI Jazeera’s Rob Reynolds is of the opinion that the incident is more than just a Los Angeles phenomenon, basketball phenomenon, or US phenomenon.
Adding to this, people stated about the charismatic figure that he was in the field of basketball. His sudden death will have an impact not only on the people living in California and London, but it shall affect people all over the world who are in the deep grief of the incident.
As per sources, the helicopter crashed around 10 AM around the hilly terrain, which was about 48 kilometers from the northwestern part of central Los Angeles. Also, a witness informed about the sound of two bangs along with a loud explosion soon after the helicopter crashed.
NBA players are of the opinion that Kobe Bryant has successfully inspired a whole generation of basketball players with excellent skills that have triggered a competitive fire in them. Less than four years after his retirement, Kobe was trying to find out new challenges and also wanted to inspire his daughter and the whole generation to know better about sports when his life came to end shockingly. The whole basketball world along with Los Angeles is outpouring their disbelief and pain for the sudden death of the player.
The reaction of different NBA players
John Paxson from the Chicago Bulls tweeted that the incident is way more than saddening for them. Though Kobe Bryant has left the world, his persona and legacy will be remembered forever among his fellow teammates and the whole of Los Angeles. He is rightly considered as one of the best players to play basketball. Players have expressed their deepest sorrow and sympathies to the Bryant family for the unrecoverable loss.
NBA commissioner Adam Silver is highly shocked by the tragic end of the famous basketball player. He talked about what Kobe has shown in terms of fantastic playing that came out as a blend of talent and keen devotion to winning. He also considered Bryant as among the extraordinary players with legendary accomplishments in the field. The commissioner ended his tweet by conveying heartiest condolences to Bryant’s family, Laker’s organization, and the entire world of sports, especially basketball. Picking up people interested in the game and helping them to come out with their best ability is what Kobe wanted to inspire his juniors with.
Other social media sources said that the magnificent player would be known mostly for his contribution to the whole generation of the basketball players. Some of them will also remember him as more than just an athlete.
Even players from other sports like soccer were just as shoked by this terrible incident and showed their support. For instance, PSG player Neymar celebrated his last goal in ligue 1 in hommage of Kobe.
Respect for the champion
Five-time champion with Los Angeles Lakers was called by the nickname of ‘The Black Mamba’ and he was surely one of the greatest basketball players the world could ever have. There were moments of silence seen after the news spread in Sunday’s NBA games. In San Antonio, Toronto Raptors, along with others, a 24 seconds shot clock took place that expired on the first possession in tribute of the famous player’s jersey numbered 24.
Michael Jordan, who has won six times NBA games championship with the Chicago bulls expressed how shocked he is over the tragic death of Kobe and his daughter. He further added that no words could describe how painful it is to accept the fact that Kobe Bryant is no more with us. Apart from this, he was a fantastic person as the father of a young girl who took pride in the fact that his daughter was also growing interested in the game of basketball.
Apart from NBA players, Kobe’s fans also gathered near Laker’s home arena at the Staple Center in the middle of Los Angeles with the message that they all love Kobe and hope that his soul rests in peace. At the wreath where the fans gathered, people were found shedding tears for the player and some laid basketball shoes and flowers.
Contribution of Kobe Bryant
In 2016, Bryant retired when he was known to be the third-leading scorer in the history of NBA. After finishing two fantastic decades with Lakers as an excellent score, he performed as an all-rounder giving relentless competition to other teams. Bryant got the NBA title in 2000 and for two consecutive years after that. Even he won the title during 2009 and 2010. Even with the US basketball team, he won gold medals at the time of the 2008 and 2012 Olympics. Therefore, the whole basketball world said that the news of Kobe Bryant’s death is devastating for his family as well as the world.
After the news spread on Sunday and Monday, some players are taking actions as a sign of respect to the great player as they continue to mourn for Bryant’s loss. Spencer Dinwiddie of Brooklyn Nets changed his jersey from Number 8 to number 26 to show his respect.
Change in the game schedule of the basketball league
Considering the influence and impact that Kobe Bryant had on basketball players and other fans, the news of his death is difficult to be accepted. His well-wishers are also sending condolences for his family members, leaving the whole sports world stunned. Bryant was rightly considered as the pillar from the day he started his career in 1996 till the last night in 2016 before his retirement. The shocking news makes the league postpone the Los Angeles Lakers versus Los Angeles Clippers match that was supposed to take place on Tuesday night.