It’s the last week of January, but it seems the universe isn’t done beating us down. We were all shaken to our cores when news broke that basketball legend Kobe Bryant passed away in a helicopter crash. It became even more devastating when we learned that his young daughter and fellow basketball enthusiast, Gianna, passed with him, along with Orange Coast College baseball coach John Altobelli, wife Keri, and daughter Alyssa.
Someone compiled videos of Kobe Bryant & his daughter Gianna to “Its So Hard To Say Goodbye” & it’s just too sad 😓💔 pic.twitter.com/Ca6fkn9b0z
— Frances Wang (#FrannyInMiami) (@FrancesWangTV) January 27, 2020
A legendary icon, not just in the sports industry but even beyond, Kobe Bryant is already being missed all over the world, with many grieving his loss and giving well-deserved tributes to the life he lived well, however short it was.
Kobe Bryant's jerseys are illuminated in the rafters of the Staples Center during the Grammys. pic.twitter.com/Db2Y6u8BT1
— ESPN (@espn) January 27, 2020
Hours after the news being released, the 62nd Grammys was set to be held at Staples Center, the same place that is considered the home of the Los Angeles Lakers, the team with which Kobe spent his twenty-year professional career with.
Host Alicia Keys opens the ceremony with the song “It’s So Hard To Say Goodbye To Yesterday” alongside Boys II Men as homage to Kobe in “the house he built,” the Staples Center.
The awards show was also set to pay tribute to the late rapper Nipsey Hussle, and the all-star line-up from John Legend to Meek Mill ended their performance with a photo of Nipsey and Kobe.
The house he built
— ABC News (@ABC) January 27, 2020
Speaking of, after the news broke, fans flocked to Staples Center sitting out in the cold just to pay homage to the Los Angeles legend.
The pylons at Los Angeles International Airport were lit up in the Lakers' colors of purple and gold on Sunday night in honor of late NBA legend Kobe Bryant. https://t.co/KH3Qle1z3J
— CNN (@CNN) January 27, 2020
Los Angeles Airport lit up in yellow and purple, the colors of the LA Lakers, in homage to Kobe. The mourning city loves him so much that everyone came together to celebrate the life he lived.
Bought flowers to bring to staples center. When the florist saw that I wanted purple and yellow she asked, “for Kobe?” I nodded. When she finished I asked what I owed her. she shook her head, handed me the flowers and said “it’s LA”. I almost cried. LAs love for Kobe is powerful
— Zach Schwartz (@zachzachzach) January 26, 2020
And love from across the states
— Alfredo Roman (@aromanchi) January 27, 2020
It’s not just LA who’s mourning. Iconic locations across the USA, from United Center to Madison Square Garden, shined in Lakers colors to celebrate the brief but amazing life of Kobe Bryant.
New York City's Madison Square Garden has been lit up in Lakers colors as a tribute to Kobe Bryant. The 41-year-old NBA star was killed along with several others in a helicopter crash Sunday in California. https://t.co/XUw91xxlrk pic.twitter.com/Xiww08KQen
— CNN International (@cnni) January 27, 2020
The 2019–20 NBA Season
Pausing to remember a great one, gone too soon. pic.twitter.com/YOAIkldiX4
— Toronto Raptors (@Raptors) January 26, 2020
The New Orleans Pelicans and the Boston Celtics started the game by each taking 24-second shot-clock violations in honor of Kobe Bryant. pic.twitter.com/AA3ntFpLtc
— NBA (@NBA) January 27, 2020
The NBA is currently in the middle of its regular season, but most of the games scheduled today celebrated Kobe’s life and career in their own way like letting a 24-second shot clock run out in honor of Kobe’s jersey number. San Antonio Spurs also release a brief tribute video of his final game in San Antonio.
In their game today against the Washington Wizards, the Atlanta Hawks’ Trae Young wore number 8 for his idol, while other players showed their love through their sneakers.
A call for more NBA tribute
Meanwhile, Dallas Mavericks’ owner Mark Cuban announced that the team will be retiring the number 24 in honor of Kobe. Fans have taken to Twitter to retire either 8 or 24 across the league. A petition has also been started by fans, calling for NBA to change its logo to feature the basketball icon.
Beyond the court
View this post on Instagram
Truly lost for words. I was not expecting to wake up on the plane and hear the news. Brothers fight, argue even hate each other at times. But we never stop loving each other. I love you, WE love you. Thank you for inspiring the world in so many ways. People let’s make sure we tell each other daily that we love each other. We never know what can happen in life. Let’s appreciate life and each other while we are here. I’m damn shole gonna miss Kobe and Gigi sitting court side watching us this season. May you Rest In Peace Kobe and Gigi. This season is dedicated To Kobe . 💯💪🏾💛💜
Laker Nation, the game of basketball & our city, will never be the same without Kobe. Cookie & I are praying for Vanessa, his beautiful daughters Natalia, Bianka & Capri, as well as his parents Joe & Pam & his sisters. We will always be here for the Bryant family. pic.twitter.com/WWxmtEAJqZ
— Earvin Magic Johnson (@MagicJohnson) January 26, 2020
And it’s not just active players who were left in shock in today’s devastating news. Fellow legend Michael Jordan refers to Kobe as a “little brother” while also being a “fierce competitor.” Fellow Lakers alum Shaquille O’Neal says “There’s no words to express the pain,” while Magic Johnson became emotional on Twitter after hearing the news. “The game of basketball & [Los Angeles], will never be the same without Kobe.”
— Ligue1 English (@Ligue1_ENG) January 26, 2020
From soccer icon Neymar to gymnast Simone Biles, giants from all kinds of sports didn’t fail to show their love to the basketball legend. Celebrities and famous personalities, from singer-songwriter Taylor Swift to actor Leonardo DiCaprio, also took to the internet to express their grief.
Kobe, We love you brother
We’re praying for your family and appreciate the life you’ve lived and all the inspiration you gave pic.twitter.com/pxbgLOOmpY
— ye (@kanyewest) January 26, 2020
Rest in peace, Mamba.