The sports world continues to mourn Kobe Bryant

Cameron Bevan-Abel, Sports Editor

Legendary NBA superstar Kobe Bryant’s death stunned the sport’s world on Jan. 26. What hurt, even more, was that his daughter, Giana, also died.

Kobe Bryant was in a helicopter with his daughter on their way to his daughter’s basketball game, Kobe being the coach. Other victims of the crash were John, Keri, and Alyssa Altobelli who wanted to see Alyssa play basketball for the same team as Gianna; another teammate, Payton Chester, and her mom Sarah Chester, Christina Mauser, an assistant coach for the team, and finally Ara Zobayan, the pilot of the helicopter.

Kobe Bryant was one of the most inspirational sports players of all time. There was always controversy and hatred to his name, but that never deterred him. Nobody liked to play against him, but when he died, the whole NBA community went into a state of shock and mourning.

Damian Lillard said, “I don’t even know how we’re supposed to play this game tonight,” right before a 50-point night game against the Pacers and exclaimed afterward, “[Kobe] was the best player I ever played against.”

LeBron James passed Bryant for third on the all-time scoring list the day before and cried heavily upon hearing the news of his passing. He also later got a tattoo of a black mamba with a rose and the numbers 8 and 24, along with the words, “Mamba 4 Life”.

His life meant a lot to Doc Rivers who just lost it in his press conference after his win. It says a lot about a player if even the rival team’s coach is in tears from Kobe’s death.

One person Kobe Bryant’s death really got to is Riordan Coach Benny Willers. “Kobe was my idol. I looked up to him, not because of how many points he scored or how many championships he won, but because of the person he strived to be. His work ethic, his mentality, and most importantly his efforts as a father and positive role model to society. The role he played in his daughters’ lives, current players’ lives, and the W[N]BA were beyond amazing. These are all things young athletes can aspire to,” Willers said.

“I truly believe the WNBA lost a powerful voice. He’s contributed a lot. Sport[s] and athletics, in general, lost an amazing spokesperson. Most importantly, he seemed to be an awesome father to his daughters. That’s what gets me the most. Guys like him and LeBron really make it hard for you to hate them.”