One of the greatest NBA legends in history, Kobe Bryant, died in a helicopter crash Sunday (26/1) local time. Eight passengers and one pilot were killed in the terrible accident.
That includes the princess Gianna. Kobe died at the age of 41 years. While Gianna died at the age of 13 years.
The helicopter carrying the Kobe group was Sikorsky S-76B type. The vehicle crashed and caught fire in Calabasas, California, about 48 kilometers southwest of Los Angeles.
“I was devastated to hear the tragic news of the deaths of Kobe and Gianna. Words, cannot describe the pain that I feel. I love Kobe. She is like a sister to me. We often talk. I will really miss the conversation with him, “said NBA legend Michael Jordan quoted by TMZ Sports.
“He is a great competitor, one of the greatest players in this game. Kobe is also an extraordinary father who loves family very much. And he is very proud to make his children also love basketball. “Yvette and I express our deepest condolences to Vanessa, the Lakers family and basketball fans around the world,” added the biggest player in the history of the Chicago Bulls.
Kobe was born in Philadelphia, August 23, 1978. Having known basketball since the age of 3, Kobe was drafted by Charlotte Hornets directly from high school in 1996.
By Hornets, Kobe was directly traded to the Los Angeles Lakers. At the age of 18 years, 2 months and 11 days, Kobe was the youngest player in NBA history.
Throughout his long career spanning over 20 seasons, Kobe was selected into the NBA All-Star squad 18 times. Kobe is also the most important player for the Lakers to bring the team to five NBA trophies.
As a human being, Kobe is not perfect. This extraordinarily competitive nature makes him often at odds with coaches and teammates. Most famous is his feud with Shaquille O’Neal. The impact of the friction is that O’Neal was finally traded to the Miami Heat in 2004.
But beyond that, his commitment to win is extraordinary and unquestionable. As age matures, Kobe grows into a wiser person and becomes a very inspiring icon. He also repaired many broken relationships, including with O’Neal.
“There are no words that can describe how painful I am today. “I lost my friends, brothers, partners in winning the NBA trophy,” O’Neal said as reported by USA Today. “I love you, my brother. “I will always miss you,” he added.
Kobe won the only MVP title in the 2007-2008 season. He also won the MVP Finals in 2009 and 2010. In addition, Kobe was also twice the NBA’s top scorer and recorded the highest points scorer in one match in history.
In 2006, he won 81 points as the Lakers defeated the Toronto Raptors 122-104.
Besides being exceptional in scoring, Kobe is also a very powerful player in defense. 12 times, Kobe was selected in the NBA All-Defense Team.
In the international arena, Kobe won two Olympic gold with the United States national team in Beijing 2008 and London 2012.
In 2016, Kobe retired after 20 years of career with just one team, the Lakers.
Experiencing a series of injuries and deterioration in physical condition, Kobe decided to quit the sport that made his name alive. In the closing match of his career, Kobe appeared sensational by scoring 60 points against the Utah Jazz.
Outside the field, Kobe’s life is more complex. He was arrested in 2003 for alleged sexual harassment in Colorado. A 19-year-old hotel employee claimed to have been raped by Kobe.
At that time, Kobe was undergoing rehabilitation to recover an injury to his knee.
The scandal caused several major products such as McDonald’s and Nutella to break the sponsorship contract with Kobe. Jersey sales also dropped. Fortunately, the marriage was saved.
The legal case against Kobe finally did not continue. However, Kobe apologized to the public for the incident. “I realized that the way he looked at the incident was not the same as the way I saw it,” Kobe said at the time as reported by The New York Times .
During his retirement, Kobe was heavily involved in training his daughter. Also established a Mamba Sports Academy training center. He also invested in various fields including technology and health drinks.
CNN launch, Kobe assets reached USD 2 billion (around Rp.27.2 trillion).
In 2018, he won an Oscar through his animated film titled “Dear Basketball.” In addition, Kobe created a web series titled “Details” for the ESPN sports television network. There, Kobe conducted an analysis of the game of the current NBA stars.
Kobe left his wife named Vanessa and three daughters namely Natalia, Bianca, and baby Capri who was only 6 months old .