The NBA family is devastated by the death of Kobe Bryant

The NBA, the United States and the world of sport are in shock: one of the greatest champions in basketball history, Kobe Bryant, iconic ...

The NBA, the United States and the world of sport are in shock: one of the greatest champions in basketball history, Kobe Bryant, iconic player of the Los Angeles Lakers, died Sunday at 41 years in an accident in 'helicopter. Her daughter Gianna, 13, and seven others also died.

Bryant, a five-time NBA champion with the Lakers, a team to which he has dedicated his entire career, died Sunday morning in the crash of his helicopter, which occurred in Calabasas in southern California. The city mayor and the state governor confirmed the death of the star on Sunday, hours after her announcement by the American celebrity news site TMZ.

According to TMZ, the former star player, father of four, was aboard his private helicopter when it fell suddenly, before igniting. "There was no survivor ... There were nine people on board, the pilot and eight people," said Alex Villanueva, the Los Angeles County sheriff, during a press briefing. Gianna, one of Kobe Bryant's four daughters, is among the victims, said Los Angeles mayor Eric Garcetti.

The helicopter crashed in foggy weather northwest of Los Angeles. Local officials said firefighters received a call shortly before 9:37 a.m. regarding the accident, which caused a brush fire on a hill. Orange Coast College, a university in Orange County, said their baseball coach, John Altobelli, 56, was on the helicopter. CNN said his wife, Keri, and one of their two daughters, Alyssa, were also on the plane.

Under the shock

"This is terrible news! "US President Donald Trump tweeted on Sunday . A few minutes later, his predecessor, Barack Obama, a great basketball fan, greeted on the same channel a "legend" of the sport before sending his "prayers" to the bereaved family.

"The NBA family is devastated," reacted the North American basketball league by the pen of its boss, Adam Silver, in tune with the biggest stars of the sport-king in the United States.

The most famous player in history, Michael Jordan, said in complete "shock" in a statement released Sunday evening. "I loved Kobe - he was like a little brother to me. We used to talk to each other often and I will miss these conversations very much, ”he said.

Admirers of the late athlete paid tribute to him in the afternoon.
"I have no words to express my pain," tweeted Shaquille O'Neal, who was Bryant's teammate in Los Angeles in the early 2000s, before leaving for Miami, quarreled with him. “Kobe was so much more than an athlete, he was a family man. That was what brought us closest, "added the ex-Laker.

"He was the greatest Laker of all time," wrote NBA legend Magic Johnson, who had worn the Los Angeles yellow jersey before him.

Canada's Steve Nash, who played with Bryant from 2012 to 2014, also said he had a "broken heart" on Twitter. "I will never forget our battles, but what I admired most about him was his way of being a father to his daughters," said Nash.

Moments of meditation

A few minutes after the announcement of the legendary player's death, NBA TV changed its programs to evoke his memory. After consultation between players, franchises and the NBA, all Sunday's meetings were maintained: 24 seconds of silence were observed, in tribute to the number of Bryant's last jersey with the Lakers.

In the afternoon, thousands of fans gathered in memory of Kobe Bryant outside the Staples Center in Los Angeles, the famous stadium that hosts the Lakers and which hosted the 62nd Grammy ceremony on Sunday. The ceremony also gave way to many tributes to the former star player, including the rapper Lizzo and the host of the ceremony, Alicia Keys.
 
Thousands of fans gathered in memory of Kobe Bryant outside the Staples Center in Los Angeles
On the social networks, the tsunami of emotions was just beginning, erasing the criticism of individualism and arrogance that sometimes tinted the career of the star player.
" No Please ! It can't be true !! ”tweeted Dallas Mavericks winger Luka Doncic.
Illustrious career
The one nicknamed "Black Mamba" for his composure was one of the seven players to have scored more than 30,000 points during his career and one of the idols of LeBron James, who overtook him on Saturday night in the 3rd place in the ranking of the best markers in the NBA.
“Kobe was immortal offensively because of his [scoring] ability. And here I am here in Philadelphia, wearing the [same] Lakers jersey. The universe sometimes causes these things… It is not supposed to have a meaning, but here it is, it just happens ”, said James Saturday, moved, after having passed the mark of Bryant.
Despite his exploits on the field, Bryant has not been immune to controversy outside the gyms. In 2003, he was arrested after a 19-year-old woman accused him of sexual assault while passing through a hotel in Colorado. The charge resulted in an out-of-court settlement, but the athlete later publicly stated that after he was convinced of the consensual nature of this relationship, he "now understands what [the young woman] feels not to have consented to it ”.
Also in financial terms, his career has been exceptional: the face of Nike, Bryant, the highest paid player on the planet, has accumulated no less than $ 323.3 million in wages, including $ 25 million in his last season.
Retired from competition since April 2016, after a successful career of twenty seasons, the native of Philadelphia is the only one to have his two jerseys, at numbers 8 and 24, hanging on the ceiling of the Staples Center, along with other legends of the franchise , such as Magic Johnson, Kareem Abdul-Jabbar or Shaquille O'Neal.

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