The world shed a collective purple and yellow tear on January 26, 2020 when news of Kobe Bryant’s death broke. The retired Los Angeles Lakers legend was traveling in a helicopter with his 13-year-old daughter Gianna and seven other passengers when they crashed into a Calabasas, California hillside en route from the John Wayne Airport to Camarillo Airport.

Nine people lost their lives that day, including Gianna’s teammate Alyssa Altobeli and her parents John and Keri Altobeli, another teammate Payton Chester and her mother Sarah Chester, pilot Ara Zobayan and Gianna’s former coach Christina Mauser. All passengers were reportedly killed on impact.

Prior to the helicopter’s departure that morning, the Los Angeles Police Air Support Division had grounded its police helicopters due to poor visibility and low ceiling, but the perilous flight still went ahead as scheduled.

On Tuesday (January 26) — one full year after Bryant’s death — Twitter is lighting up with tributes to the NBA legend. His widow Vanessa shared an Instagram post that included a letter from Gianna’s best friend Aubrey.

“I miss my baby girl and Kob-Kob so much, too,” she wrote in part. “I will never understand why/how this tragedy could’ve happened to such beautiful, kind and amazing human beings. It still doesn’t seem real. Kob, we did it right. Gigi, you still make mommy proud. I love you!”


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Bryant was just 41 at the time of his death and only four years into his retirement. While off the professional court, he’d pivoted to several basketball-related business endeavors such as the Mamba Sports Academy, where the flight was headed that fateful day.

All 9 Victims Of Kobe Bryant's Fatal Helicopter Crash Identified

He also helmed the multi-media company Granity Studios, which produced the 2018 Academy Award-winning animated short film Dear Basketball and several New York Times best-selling novels. After winning five championships with the Lakers, Bryant is considered one of the best basketball players of all time, alongside other greats such as Chicago Bulls legend Michael Jordan and LeBron James.

It comes as no surprise numerous tributes are pouring in on social media from several members of the Hip Hop community such as Snoop Dogg, Public Enemy’s Chuck D, Common, Spike Lee, Ice Cube and Juicy J. Check out the reactions below.


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