The world paused yesterday as news broke that one of the greatest basketball players of all time, Kobe Bryant is dead. The legendary basketballer passed away yesterday alongside his 13-year-old daughter, Gianna and seven other victims namely John, Altobelli, Keri Altobelli, Alyssa Altobelli, Christina Mauser, Sarah Chester, Payton Chester, and an unidentified pilot following a helicopter crash in Calabasas California.
At 17, Kobe, an ambitious kid from Philadelphia, took a leap straight from high school to the NBA. It was a leap that saw him win five NBA championships, become an 18-time All-Star, 15-time member of the All-NBA Team, and a 12-time member of the All-Defense Team. In 2010, he surpassed Jerry West to become the all-time leading scorer in Lakers franchise history and at 34, he became the youngest player in league history to reach 30,000 career points.
Tributes have been pouring in from all over the world in the wake of the news of his death. The internet has been awash with pictures and videos of some of his most iconic and memorable moments, especially ones with his daughter, Gianna who was already on her way to becoming a professional basketball player.
Fans trooped out to the Staple Center yesterday to pay their tribute to the iconic sportsman and his daughter Gianna.
His friends and former teammates took to social media to share some of their fondest memories of him. Check out what they are saying below:
Dwyane Wade: “Kobe was my closest friend. I still can’t believe that today happened. Kobe and I shared so many memories, no one ever saw him the way I did.”
Lebron James: “Kobe made so much impact in my life, he was a competitor and his focus was all the drive you need. As a kid, I always looked up to Kobe for his courage. I’d miss him so much.”
Mike Wilborn: “I had a stroke this time twelve years ago and Kobe came to visit me with flowers when I left the hospital.”
Trae Young on his last conversation with Kobe: “Kobe told me how he was happy that I had grown in my career and I should be better for the younger generations behind.”
Demar DeRozan: “If Kobe wasn’t there for me I wouldn’t be where I am today.”
Gregg Popovich: “We all feel a deep sense of loss for what he meant to all of us in so many ways. And millions of people loved him for so many different reasons.”
Mark Cuban: “Kobe’s iconic number 24 would never be worn again by the mavericks.”
Kobe is survived by his wife, Vanessa and three daughters, Natalia, Bianka, Capri.
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