Unfortunately, on Sunday January 26th Kobe Bryant along with his daughter Gianna and seven other people died in a helicopter crash in Calabasas, California. Kobe Bryant is a 5X NBA Champion. The news was very shocking as just 24 hours before his passing LeBron James passed Kobe on the all-time scoring list and Kobe tweeted “Continuing to move the game forward @KingJames. Much respect my brother”. Other victims of the crash were “girls’ basketball coach Christina Mauser, 38; mom Sarah Chester, 45, and her 13-year-old daughter, Payton Chester; and college baseball coach John Altobelli, 56, his wife, Keri Altobelli, 46, and their 14-year-old daughter Alyssa Altobelli,” (Brown). All of these victims were heading to a travel basketball game that morning.
The flight was in and conditions as there was heavy fog in the area. “The chopper took off from John Wayne Airport in Orange County midmorning and encountered heavy fog en route to Camarillo Airport. The conditions were bad enough that the LAPD’s Air Support Division grounded its helicopters and didn’t fly until later in the afternoon, department spokesman Josh Rubenstein said,” (Winton). Some say that the helicopter should haver taken off due to the heave fog and blame the pilot. However, Kawhi Leonard stated that the pilot Ara Zobayan is “one of the best”.
Many players and people took the news to heart and were devastated. Kobe Bryant’s numbers 8 and 24 were both retired by the Los Angeles Lakers after he retired in 2017. However, after the passing Dallas Mavericks owner Mark Cuban retired 24 out of respect. Many players across the league took 24 and 8 second violations during games. Current players that wore 24 changed their number out of respect to honor Kobe and his legacy. Even the National Hockey League honored Kobe Bryant as well as recently in the Super Bowl with video tributes. The NBA (National Basketball Association) recently made changes to their upcoming all-star game to honor Kobe and Gianna with one team wearing 24 (Kobe’s number) and 2 (Gianna’s number) as well as, many changes to the game. Kobe Bryant was an icon and millions across the world were devastated when the news broke out.