One year ago today, Kobe Bryant, Gianna Bryant and seven others died in a helicopter crash in Calabasas, California. Kobe was 41 and Gianna was 13. According to Lakers Daily, the Lakers don't have any plans for any large memorials, as they don't want to place any further emphasis on what will already be a challenging day for Bryant's family. Bryant's family reportedly has asked NBA teams and the league not to hold tributes today (January 26th.) Instead, the team will reportedly continue to memorialize Kobe in subtle ways, such as by wearing Bryant’s signature sneakers and with Lebron James‘ No. 24 finger sleeve.
Meanwhile, according to Revolt, LeBron spoke on Kobe's death, saying, “It’s a saying that time heals all and as devastating and as tragic as it was and still is to all of us involved with it… it takes time.Everyone has their own grieving process.”
Kobe Bryant is considered one of the top NBA players of all time. He made 18 All Star teams during his 20 year career with the Los Angeles Lakers. He was a first-round pick in the 1996 draft, winning five NBA championships, two NBA Finals MVPs and he was the league MVP in 2008.
He was on 15 All-NBA Teams, 12 All-Defensive Teams and led the league in scoring for two seasons. He ranks fourth place in the NBA for all-time regular season scoring and all-time postseason scoring. He also represented the US in several Olympics appearances, where he helped secure gold medals twice.
Kobe is the only player in team history to have both of his jerseys, numbers 8 and 24 retired.
At age 34, Kobe became the youngest player in NBA history to surpass the 30,000 point mark.
Kobe left behind his wife Vanessa and his three daughters Natalia, Capri and Bianka.
In April 2016, Kobe thanked fans after his final game:
- “This has been absolutely beautiful, you guys, I can't believe it's come to an end. You guys will always be in my heart, and I sincerely, sincerely appreciate it. No words can describe how I feel about you guys. Thank you, thank you from the bottom of my heart. I love you guys. (Cheers) I love you guys.”
In April 2016, after his final game, Kobe talked about 20 years going by fast:
- “I can't believe how fast 20 years went by, I mean, this is crazy. This is absolutely crazy. And to be standing here at center court with you guys, my teammates behind me, appreciating all this, the journey that we've been on. We've been through our ups and been through our downs, and I think the most important part is that we stayed together throughout.”
In December 2017, during an appearance on The Late Late Show, Kobe talked about his jersey being retired:
- “(Corden) Later this month the Lakers are retiring, they are retiring both of your jerseys, both numbers, number 8 and number 24. Why do you think they have taken the decision to retire 8 and 24. Both numbers? (Bryant) Because I had a really, really long career and really, really old by basketball years, so I have been able to have basically two careers and two different numbers so they felt like the best thing was to retire both of them. (Freeman) Congrats. (Corden) Yeah, it's an incredible thing.”
In December 2017, during an appearance on The Late Late Show, Kobe talked about life after retirement:
- “(Corden) How has life been since you retired. Are you adjusting to it, have you taken up any new hobbies?(Bryant) I'm an Uber driver. I am basically an Uber driver for my children. I am a Duber, that is what I do. Three mile radius. I take my kids everywhere, that is it, here there, here, there, and back again, that's what I do, that's it. (Corden) You haven't carved out time, was there any time when you were playing that you thought when I stop I'm going do this. (Bryant) I do coach my daughter's basketball team. (Freeman) I was going to ask you if they play the basketball. Yeah, of course. (Bryant) Our middle daughter plays basketball so I coach. (Corden) You coach their team? (Bryant) I do. (Corden) I mean I'm sorry. I don't know if that should be allowed. Can you imagine being the opposition manager coach and you pull up and you're like guys we've got this, we're going to win this, turn around it doesn't matter. (Bryant) I'm not out there playing, I don't know what difference I'm going to make. The kids, we run the triangle offense which they say is the most… We run the triangle offense. It's awesome.”
n April 2017, Kobe talked about his three daughters during an appearance on The Tonight Show
- “You have three little girls now? (Bryant) Yeah, three little girls. (Fallon) 14. (Bryant) 14, 10 and 4 months. (Fallon) Four months? (Bryant) Yes. (Fallon) Oh, my God. (Bryant) We're both in the team no sleep right now. (Fallon) Yeah, no sleep. Yeah. But all girls too, you know? But there's no no no male figures in the house besides you? (Bryant) Nope. Nope. (Fallon) A dog, a pet, anything? (Bryant) Well, there's one dog but he's a dwarf lab so. He doesn't have much say so in the house. (Fallon) He doesn't say no. (Bryant) Yeah. (Fallon) Do you get to control the TV or that's gone? (Bryant) No. I think I do until they actually come in the room and then it's like, give it up… (Fallon) Yeah. What are you watching now like teen nick and stuff? (Bryant) Yeah, well, we're big on Disney, man. (Fallon) Yeah exactly… (Bryant) So like one of our favorite shows, Stuck in the Middle we'll watch that all day long. (Fallon) Yeah, yeah, yeah. Yeah, I watch that too. It's just always on. (Bryant) Singing the songs and stuff. You're on there kind of singing and dancing and stuff… (Fallon) I'm so I'm happy we're and I'm not saying this is bad at all but I'm so happy I'm over. Dora the Explorer. (Bryant) Oh, yeah. (Fallon) Because I love her. I love Backpack, I love the whole thing… (Bryant) Let's go jump in vamonos. (Fallon) No. No. Stop, no, please no. No, no. I'm never going to get it out of my head. (Bryant) Oh, come on.”
In March 2019, Kobe Bryant spoke on winning an Academy Award on The Tonight Show:
- “Thank you so much for doing the show. Last time I saw you didn't have an Oscar. You have an Academy Award? It's crazy man. It's crazy. What's that feel? We were talking about the film, and then for it to get nominated, it was just… a goal in itself. Yeah. But then you won. What the hell, right? It's just one of those things, man, where you play basketball your entire life. Yeah. And then you move on to something else. And you wind up working with great people. Yeah. And the next thing you know, you're sitting at the Oscars. I mean, I was sitting there with Vanessa at the Oscars like what in the hell are we doing here? How did I get here? Meryl Streep is right there.”
Barack Obama speaks on the death of Kobe Bryant at the 2020 NBA All-Star Weekend Newsmaker Brunch:
- “That loss is something I know many are still grappling with. Particularly Kobe, because he was with his daughter and those families and those children. And those of us who have had the joy and privilege of being parents and taking kids to ball games and then rooting for our children and seeing our dreams and hopes passed on to them, nothing is more heartbreaking. And so I want to offer the NBA family Michelle and my deepest condolences,. And obviously the families of the Sterns and the Bryants.”
In February 2016, Jay Z spoke on his friendship with Kobe Bryant:
- “Kobe was a guy who looked up to me and we’ve hung out multiple times . . . “He was just in the greatest space that I’ve seen him in. One of the last things he said to me was, ‘You gotta see Gianna play basketball.’ That was one of the most hurtful things ’cause he was so proud. . . . I looked at him and said, ‘Oh, she’s going to be the best female basketball player in the world. . . . That’s really a tough one and my wife and I took that—are taking that—really tough . . . Just a great human being and was in a great space in his life.”
In clip two, Spike Lee on the death of Kobe Bryant.
- “(Spike) We worked together. I did a documentary on him called Doin' Work and on several commercials and we were not close. But as the saying goes, game respects game. We both had the utmost respect for each other in our different fields. And a lot of people have been going, you know, to recently, but no disrespect to anybody, this one, this is… Rev, you ask Tonya, I've been out of sorts since this whole thing happened. I'm like… I'm not even… Rev, I'm not well yet, you know. It's going to take time. This is big. It's a… with the daughter, that's the… and no disrespect to the seven others, peace and love and respect, but his daughter, oh, my God. (Al) Wow. (Spike) It's a tough one.”
AUDIO: TONIGHT SHOW KOBE BRYANT ON WINNING AN ACADEMY AWARD
AUDIO: TONIGHT SHOW KOBE BRYANT ON HAVING ANOTHER BABY
AUDIO: TONIGHT SHOW KOBE BRYANT ON HIS THREE DAUGHTERS
AUDIO: SHAQUILLE O NEAL ON KOBE BRYANT
AUDIO: LEBRON JAMES SPEECH TO KOBE BRYANT
AUDIO: POLITICSNATION SUNDAY SPIKE LEE ON THE DEATH OF KOBE BRYANT
AUDIO: KOBE MEMORIAL SHAQUILLE O NEAL SHARES A FUNNY MEMORY OF KOBE BRYANT
AUDIO: KOBE MEMORIAL MICHAEL JORDAN SAYS HE WAS A BIG BROTHER TO KOBE
AUDIO: KOBE MEMORIAL MICHAEL JORDAN SAYS BECAUSE OF KOBE HE WILL HAVE ANOTHER CRYING FACE MEME
AUDIO: KOBE MEMORIAL VANESSA BRYANT SHARES SWEET WORDS ABOUT GIANNA
AUDIO: KOBE MEMORIAL VANESSA BRYANT ON KOBE AS A FATHER AND HUSBAND
AUDIO: KOBE MEMORIAL VANESSA BRYANT SAYS KOBE AND GIANNA COULDN’T BE ON THIS EARTH WITHOUT EACH OTHER
AUDIO: LATE LATE SHOW KOBE BRYANT ON LIFE AFTER HIS RETIREMENT
AUDIO: LATE LATE SHOW KOBE BRYANT ON HIS JERSEY BEING RETIRED
AUDIO: KOBE BRYANT’S ‘KOBE BRYANT DAY’ SPEECH
AUDIO: JAY Z SPEAKS ON HIS RELATIONSHIP WITH KOBE BRYANT
AUDIO: KOBE BRYANT SAYS 20 YEARS WENT BY FAST
AUDIO: BARACK OBAMA ON KOBE BRYANT