The world can not stop crying for one of the brightest stars that have ever graced the beautiful game of Basketball. Like an unscripted line in a movie, 41-year-old NBA legend, Kobe Bryant and his 13-year-old daughter Gianna died in a helicopter crash on Sunday, January 26, 2020.
“The Black Mamba”, as Kobe liked to call himself, Gianna and 7 others were travelling through Calabasas, California when the helicopter suddenly came down and burst into flames. All the 9 passengers on board the helicopter did not survive the crash.
Kobe Bryant played for Los Angeles Lakers for over 20 years before he retired in 2016. While he was at the club, he won five championships and was always compared to the legendary Michael Jordan. He made the NBA All-Star 18-time and won numerous honours for both country (The USA) and club
When the news of his sudden demise became public, Staples Center in Los Angeles, the United States of America which was where he played most of his basketball games, became the centre of attraction.
Coincidentally, the 62nd Grammy Awards was billed to hold at the centre. Hence, the organisers had to change their programme by opening the award night with a tribute to the basketball legend.
Alicia Keys, the host of the ceremony launched the show by saying: “We’re all feeling crazy sadness right now because earlier today Los Angeles, America and the whole wide world lost a hero. We’re literally standing here heartbroken in the house that Kobe Bryant built.” A tribute performance in honour of the late basketball star followed afterwards.
President Donald Trump and former president of the US, Barack Obama were not left out of the numerous dignitaries across the world who sent their condolences to Bryant’s family.
President Trump tweeted: “Kobe Bryant, despite being one of the truly great basketball players of all time, was just getting started in life. He loved his family so much and had such a strong passion for the future. The loss of his beautiful daughter, Gianna, makes this moment even more devastating. Melania and I send our warmest condolences to Vanessa and the wonderful Bryant family. May God be with you all!”
…..Melania and I send our warmest condolences to Vanessa and the wonderful Bryant family. May God be with you all!— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) January 26, 2020
While former President Obama tweeted: “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.”
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
American rapper Wiz Khalifa’s condolence message
Roll something and get the day started. Rip Kobe. Peace and blessings to his family.— Wiz Khalifa (@wizkhalifa) January 27, 2020
Brazilian and PSG Football star Neymar’s condolence message
A tribute from a Twitter user
The last statement of Kobe Bryant after his last basketball game for Lakers Basketball Club in 2016
May His soul, that of his daughter and 7 others continue to Rest in perfect peace!