Former NBA player Kobe Bryant died in a helicopter crash near Calabasas, California in the United States, said officials.
Bryant, aged 41, was known to be one of the greatest basketball players of his generation in a career spanning 20 years with the Los Angeles Lakers.
He then retired in 2016 as the third front runner in NBA history, scoring successfully and finishing 20 years with the Lakers. He was regarded as an outstanding scorer with an amazing all-around game and a graceful yet relentless sportsmanship.
He was immensely popular in the recent history of NBA and became increasingly famous in the 16-time NBA champion Lakers franchise. He became the league’s Most Valued Player in 2008 and a two-time NBA scoring champion.
Bryant was the winner of five NBA championship rings with the Lakers and an 18-time NBA All-Star who was the proud owner of the number 24 jersey during his time with the team.
Kobe Bryant’s charisma transcended his sportsmanship and shone in his competitive ethic.
One of his four daughters, 13-year-old Gianna Bryant, was killed in the same helicopter crash. Pictures of Bryant and his daughter, playing together in the basketball court, circulated around social media saddening users even more. The father and the daughter were expected to arrive at the Mamba Sports Academy in Thousand Oaks for a basketball game. Gianna was expected to play while Bryant was to coach.
Bryant was a loving father and wished to see his daughter walk his footsteps. Gianna was a passionate basketball player and was often seen playing in pictures and videos shared by Bryant on Instagram.
In an interview with Jimmy Kimmel in the late night talk show, “Jimmy Kimmel Live!” in 2018, Bryant confirmed that Gianna would be the heir to his legacy. Her dream was to play in the WNBA.
“The best thing that happens is when we go out and fans would come up to me and she’ll be standing next to me,” Bryant said, “and they’ll be like, ‘You’ve gotta have a boy, you and V gotta have a boy. You gotta have somebody to carry on your tradition, the legacy.”Jimmy Kimmel Live!
“She’s like, ‘Oy, I got this,” Bryant said.
“I’m like that’s right,” Bryant added. “Yes, you do, you got this.”
In another interview for the New Yorker in 2014, the NBA Champion remembered a game of Candyland that the father and son played together when Gianna was 3 years old.
You know, it’s my move,” he said. “She obviously can see that I can win, so she’ll know that I’m not winning on purpose. Then what’s that teaching?”
Bryant made the move and won, irritating Gianna who knocked over the game board.
“I was, like, damn, the kid’s like me,'” Bryant told the magazine.