Kobe Bryant dies at 41

Kobe+Bryant+salutes+to+the+fans+in+his+last+NBA+game+where+he+dropped+60+points+in+a+%2101-96+victory+on+April+13%2C+2016.++The+Los+Angeles+Lakers+played+the+Utah+Jazz.

J.C. Hong

Kobe Bryant salutes to the fans in his last NBA game where he dropped 60 points in a !01-96 victory on April 13, 2016. The Los Angeles Lakers played the Utah Jazz.

Sam H.'22, Writer

At 9:40 in the morning on Jan. 26, a Silkorsky S-76B helicopter crashed into a mountainside in Calabasas, California.  The crash killed nine passengers, Ara Zobayan, the pilot of the aircraft, John Altobelli, Keri Altobelli, Alyssa Altobelli, Sara Chester, Payton Chester, Gianna Bryant, and Kobe Bryant.  All were killed on impact or by trauma caused by the impact.  

The conditions for flying were noticeably poor, with dense fog close to the ground impairing visibility.  The chopper was also not equipped with Terrain Awareness and Warning System (TAWS), meaning navigating the mountainous terrain of Calabasas was difficult in dense fog, even for experienced pilots. The fog on this fateful Sunday was so dense the entire Los Angeles Police Air Support Division Helicopters were grounded, according to the Washington Post. The helicopter carrying Bryant was also not equipped with a black box. 

             When news of Bryant’s death was announced, the world stopped.  Countless fans and celebrities broke down in tears. During several NBA games, teams took 24 second shot clock violations and eight second backcourt violations.  Atlanta Hawks point guard Trae Young wore the number eight and took an eight second backcourt violation. Many teams held 24 second moments of silence, and warmup suits were often worn under shirts with both of Kobe’s numbers on.  The Los Angeles Lakers, who Bryant played for, held a special ceremony for him, and LeBron James giving a short speech with a powerful conclusion.

“In the words of Kobe Bryant, Mamba Out, but in the words of us, not forgotten.  Live on, brother,” LeBron said at the end of his speech before the Lakers game against the Portland Trailblazers.

Several students also were shocked to hear about the death of Kobe.

“He was a legend.  He had many losses and victories, but in those victories when it mattered most, he came through,” said Brady D. ‘23.

Bryant was an 18 time all star and a five time NBA champion, and through hard work and dedication, pushing himself to be one of the best players in NBA history.

“A lot of people can make it to the NBA with their talent level, but if you want to play in the league, you have to work hard, and that was what Kobe always did,” Olentangy basketball coach John Feasel said.  

Shaquille O’Neal, Bryant’s teammate and mentor before a feud between Bryant and O’ Neal arose, wrote on Twitter that he felt sick to learn about the death of Bryant.  Bryant’s death was also felt internationally. After scoring a goal, Paris Saint-Germain star Neymar Jr. flashed a two four with his fingers in a game against Lille OSC.  Professional tennis player Nick Kyrgios wore a Kobe Bryant jersey during warmups before a match in the Australian Open. During the Coppa Italia Quarterfinal match between AC Milan and Torino, AC Milan fans held a giant poster which said “Rest in Peace Kobe and Gianna!  Forever together” according to NBC.  Kobe Bryant maybe gone but will never be forgotten.  Mamba Out.