Basketball legend Kobe Bryant and his teenage daughter Gianna Maria Onore Bryant passed away in a helicopter crash near Calabasas, California on the 26th of January 2020; leaving the sports fraternity around the world in a shock. The former LA Lakers star and his daughter were among 9 people who lost their lives, Los Angeles County Sheriff said.
Bryant and his 13-year-old daughter were in their way to a youth match when the crash took place. Reports add that another player and parent were also present aboard on the helicopter. The chopper had departed from the John Wayne Airport in Orange County at 9.06 am.
Kobe Bryant began his basketball career in 1996. National Basketball Association (NBA) team Charlette Hornets drafted him in the. The hornets later traded him with the Los Angelos Lakers, where he went on to become a basketballing legend. Bryant has won 5 NBA.
Bryant is an 18-time All-Star, 15-time member of the All-NBA Team, 12-time member of the All-Defensive team, and the 2008 NBA Most Valuable Player (MVP). Nicknamed as the Black Mamba due to his ability to mimic the snake’s ability to “strike with 99 per cent accuracy at maximum speed, in rapid succession.”
Until 25 January, Kobe held the record as the third place on the NBA’s all-time scoring list with James LeBron overtaking Bryant. Bryant even congratulated James on Twitter:
Continuing to move the game forward @KingJames. Much respect my brother ?? #33644
— Kobe Bryant (@kobebryant) January 26, 2020
Kobe is survived by his wife Vanessa Laine Bryant and three daughters- Bianka, Natalia and Capri Kobe Bryant.
Indian Athletes take to Social media to tribute the legend
Sports legends all over the world took to social media and posted on how Kobe inspired them. Indian cricket skipper Virat Kohli paid his respects saying he was “absolutely devastated”. He adds that he has had “So many childhood memories of waking up early and watching this magician doing things on the court”.
View this post on Instagram
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 ?
A true sporting icon. RIP Kobe, Gianna and all the victims of helicopter crash. pic.twitter.com/gAySYREnLU
— hardik pandya (@hardikpandya7) January 27, 2020
— Sunil Chhetri (@chetrisunil11) January 27, 2020
Our thoughts are with the Bryant family during this difficult time.
— Indian Football Team (@IndianFootball) January 27, 2020
— Shikhar Dhawan (@SDhawan25) January 27, 2020
— Jasprit Bumrah (@Jaspritbumrah93) January 27, 2020
View this post on Instagram
RIP Kobe and Gigi ?? He was my idol. My favorite player growing up. You will be missed. My prayers are with all families involved in this tragedy. This news has left me disbelief. My heart is shattered. There will never be another Kobe Bryant. Basketball will never be the same without you. #GOAT #8 #24