Tragic news hit the sporting world on 26th January when NBA legend Kobe Bryant died in a tragic helicopter accident in California.
The helicopter was also carrying his 13-year old daughter Gianna Maria-Onore Bryant. According to reports from CNN, a total of 9 passengers were killed during the crash.
The crash occurred at 10 am in the morning in the hills of Calabasas and as the chopper crashed a fire broke out making it impossible for the fire fighting services to rescue him. Sikorsky S-76 helicopter was the name of the chopper that went down.
The Los Angeles Lakers legend was 41-years old and won five NBA championship for the franchise. He spent his entire career with the Lakers franchise. He was also named to the All-Star Game 18 times and was named All-Star MVP four times and he also scored 33,643 points in his career that spanned two decades.
One of the greatest players of all time, Michael Jordan also issued a statement following the accident.
“I am in shock over the tragic news of Kobe’s and Gianna’s passing. Words can’t describe the pain I’m feeling. I loved Kobe – he was like a little brother to me.
We used to talk often and I will miss those conversations very much. He was a fierce competitor, one of the greats of the game and a creative force.
Kobe was also an amazing dad who loved his family deeply – and took great pride in his daughter’s love for the game of basketball.
Yvette joins me in sending my deepest condolences to Vanessa, the Lakers organization and basketball fans around the world.”
Max Holloway: Kobe Inspired me to be a killer
Above all, Kobe Bryant was one of the few players whose personality transcended the sport of Basketball. He adopted the nickname “Black Mamba” after watching the movie Kill Bill.
That’s where the acronym Mamba Mentality comes from. Moreover, it’s a type of Killer Instinct that has also inspired former UFC featherweight champion, Max Holloway.
“When Kobe is in Mamba mode he’s an animal,” Max said back in 2017 after beating Jose Aldo in a rematch. “He doesn’t care about winning one time … he’ll play you 100 times just to make a point — you suck, I’m the greatest.”