On the 26th of January, 2020, the bodies of Kobe Bryant, his daughter Gianna and seven others were found on the site of a helicopter crash.
In addition to these two, the victims had been positively identified by a coroner’s office as Payton Chester, Sarah Chester, Alyssa Altobelli, Keri Altobelli, John Altobelli, Christina Mauser and the pilot, Ara Zobayan.The cause of death was determined to be blunt force trauma for all the victims, and the manner of death was listed as an accident.
The group of nine were on their way to the Mamba Sports Academy in Thousand Oaks for a basketball game when they crashed about 30 miles northwest of downtown Los Angeles.
The National Transportation Safety Board has collected some evidence at the crash site but the cause of the crash is still yet to be determined. As of now, however, they believe the weather was most likely the key factor.
Grieving his death
Kobe Bryant was considered one of the best basketball players. He had 18 All-Star Appearances, five NBA championships, and an MVP award. Although he had retired, his death had been felt throughout the league.
In honor of Kobe Bryant, teams held moments of silence before their games. In addition, each game started with 8-second and 24-second violations, a tribute to Kobe’s jersey numbers. Madison Square Garden and a number of NBA stadiums also changed their colors to yellow and purple, the color of Kobe’s jersey.
The Staples Center in Los Angeles became a funeral home for fans. Many gathered outside the stadium while chanting “M-V-P” while others left flowers and basketballs. There was grieving among other sports as well. Tennis players mourned and soccer players paid tribute. The Super Bowl also recognized Kobe Bryant during halftime.
Life after retirement
Once Kobe Bryant turned 40, he was asked about the possibilities after retiring. He said “Giorgio Armani didn't start Armani until he was forty. Forty! There's such a life ahead." And Kobe stuck by this. In just five years of retirement, Kobe Bryant wrote multiple books, won an Academy Award for a short film that he wrote and coached his daughter’s basketball team.
What Bryant will be remembered for, however, is his mamba mentality, which is to always put in your best effort and always aim for ‘domination’ instead of just winning. This mentality led him to become a role model to many. He will be remembered forever as one of the most skilled athletes in history.