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Kobe Bryant, an NBA star who transcended sports, remembered around the world

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Fans and friends honor Kobe's legacy
Fans and friends honor Kobe's legacy 02:05

Tributes continued pouring in from around the world Monday for Kobe Bryant, an American icon whose cultural impact went far beyond the NBA, after Bryant, his 13-year-old daughter, Gianna, and seven others were killed in a helicopter crash northwest of Los Angeles. Bryant was 41 years old.

The news brought a massive crowd to the Staples Center, where Bryant led the Los Angeles Lakers to five NBA titles. The tributes continued inside at Sunday night's Grammy Awards, during which host Alicia Keys called the stadium "the house that Kobe Bryant built."

Crews continued their efforts to recover victims' bodies and scoured the crash scene Monday. Officials said it could take as long as a week to collect all the evidence.

 

Old and new tools in use as investigators comb crash site

Sheriff's deputies on horseback were patrolling the scene of Sunday's helicopter crash outside Los Angeles that killed Kobe Bryant, his 13-year-old daughter Gianna and five others, The Associated Press says. They were trying to keep curious members of the public away as investigators tried to determine the cause of the crash and to recover the bodies of the victims.

But the latest technology was also being used — drones, the Reuters news agency reports.

The National Transportation Safety Board tweeted a picture of preparations being made to put the drones in the air:

By Brian Dakss
 

Jimmy Kimmel calls Kobe Bryant's death "a punch in the gut"

Jimmy Kimmel devoted his entire show to Kobe Bryant Monday night. "Tonight's show is going to be different from our usual show," Kimmel said. "We don't have a studio audience here tonight because going forward with a comedy show didn't feel right considering what happened yesterday. So I'd like to just speak to you directly."

He went on to laud Bryant, calling his death and those of Bryant's 13-year-old daughter Gianna and five others in a helicopter crash outside Los Angeles Sunday "a punch in the gut." At one point, Kimmel began to cry as he said Bryant was "a bright light. And that's how I want to remember him."

He spent the rest of the show playing clips from some of the 15 times Bryant was a guest.

By Brian Dakss
 

Jimmy Fallon posts emotional tribute

Jimmy Fallon got choked up as he honored Kobe Bryant, saying he met Bryant at a party when Fallon was 21 and Bryant 17. The late-night host told the story of how the two strangers started chatting, then went on a beer run together:

By Brian Dakss
 

LeBron James posts emotional Instagram remembering Kobe Bryant and daughter Gigi

LeBron James, a fellow Los Angeles Laker, used Instagram late Monday to offer his condolences to Kobe Bryant's family — and Bryant himself.

"I literally just heard your voice Sunday morning before I left Philly to head back to LA," James posted. "Didn't think for one bit in a million years that would be the last conversation we'd have."

View this post on Instagram

I’m Not Ready but here I go. Man I sitting here trying to write something for this post but every time I try I begin crying again just thinking about you, niece Gigi and the friendship/bond/brotherhood we had! I literally just heard your voice Sunday morning before I left Philly to head back to LA. Didn’t think for one bit in a million years that would be the last conversation we’d have. WTF!! I’m heartbroken and devastated my brother!! 😢😢😢😢💔. Man I love you big bro. My heart goes to Vanessa and the kids. I promise you I’ll continue your legacy man! You mean so much to us all here especially #LakerNation💜💛 and it’s my responsibility to put this shit on my back and keep it going!! Please give me the strength from the heavens above and watch over me! I got US here! There’s so much more I want to say but just can’t right now because I can’t get through it! Until we meet again my brother!! #Mamba4Life❤️🙏🏾 #Gigi4Life❤️🙏🏾

A post shared by LeBron James (@kingjames) on

By Peter Martinez
 

ESPN re-airs Kobe Bryant's final game

ESPN on Monday night honored Kobe Bryant by re-airing his final NBA game from April 13, 2016. The Lakers had long been eliminated from playoff contention by that time, and would end the season with their worst record in franchise history. Despite the dismal season, the game was a classic Bryant performance.

Bryant scored 60 points on 50 shots and the Lakers defeated the Utah Jazz 101-96. Los Angeles entered the fourth quarter trailing 75-66, but Bryant scored 23 points in the closing period, shooting 8-16 and making three of the five three-point shots he attempted.

ESPN also tweeted updates from the game throughout the evening.

By Jordan Freiman
 

"I lost my hero": Kobe Bryant's high school basketball coach remembers NBA legend

gregg-downer-kobe-bryant.png
Gregg Downer / CBS Philadelphia

Before his illustrious 20-year NBA career and becoming a basketball icon, Kobe Bryant dazzled fans during his time playing for Lower Merion High School in Pennsylvania. A day after Bryant's death, Lower Merion's basketball coach Gregg Downer, who was Bryant's coach from 1992 until 1996, issued an emotional statement, obtained by CBS Philadelphia.

It is with complete shock and a broken heart that I mourn the passing of Kobe Bryant and his beautiful daughter, Gianna, and all the victims of this horrific tragedy.

My deepest condolences to the families involved, to Laker Nation, to Kobe's fans around the world, and to our local Aces Nation.

It may seem odd for a grown man to admit it, but yesterday I lost my hero. Never have I witnessed such passion, work ethic, and intensity — such a unique and purposeful drive for greatness. No excuses. No shortcuts. No days off. Kobe set the standard. He was our superman.

Kobe was a phenomenal athlete, a brilliant mind, and the fiercest competitor to walk the earth. And he was an even better father. The bond we shared in raising our young daughters was the source of my greatest pride in our relationship. When Kobe would take my daughter, Brynn, into his arms for hugs and high fives, our smiles were a mile wide — the joy was incomparable. We had found something more important than basketball. We had discovered our purpose.

It is not often in life you see pure greatness. I was lucky enough to have a front row seat to it for four years. He pushed me as a coach to be better and I pushed him right back. It was a beautiful, winning combination for which I will forever be grateful. Our Aces motto is "hard work, dedication, results." No one did it any better.

Moving forward seems nearly impossible, but I wonder if Kobe would tell us to "bounce the ball, squeak the sneakers and compete."

We will continue to seek your inspiration daily and honor your legacy with our current and future Aces. We will never let your Aces Nation down.

I love you, Kobe Bean Bryant. Thank you for all you have done for me, for Lower Merion Basketball and for the world.

By Peter Martinez
 

New York's Empire State Building lights up in purple and gold

The iconic Empire State Building is honoring NBA icon Kobe Bryant on Monday night by lighting up in purple and gold.

"Our lights will shine in purple and gold this evening as we pay tribute to basketball legend Kobe Bryant, an inspiration to millions across the globe who was taken too soon," the tweet read. "Our hearts go out to all of the families, friends and fans affected by this tragedy."

By Peter Martinez
 

Detroit Pistons wear No. 8 and No. 24 jerseys

The Detroit Pistons wore number 8 and 24 jerseys to honor Bryant before their matchup against the Cleveland Cavaliers on Monday night. Bryant wore both numbers during his 20 years with the Los Angeles Lakers. 

By Justin Carissimo
 

NTSB says no black box was on helicopter; FBI joins investigation

The National Transportation Safety Board said Monday that it's on scene investigating and gathering information about the deadly helicopter crash that killed nine. Officials said the FBI is assisting in the investigation, but clarified there was no criminal conduct involved.

NTSB said there was no flight data recorder or cockpit voice recorder because it wasn't required on the helicopter. Officials are asking the public for any photos or videos taken at the time of the crash to be submitted to witness@ntsb.gov.

Officials also said the final transmission from the helicopter pilot to air traffic control was that the aircraft was going to increase altitude to avoid a cloud layer. NTSB said weather will be a component of its investigation.

Los Angeles County Sheriff Alex Villanueva said anyone who attempts to access the crash site will face a misdemeanor charge.

No distress call before Kobe Bryant helicopte... 02:57
By Peter Martinez
 

Tracy McGrady remembers Kobe and Gigi: "She was special"

Former NBA star Tracy McGrady remembered Bryant and his daughter, Gianna, in an interview with ESPN on Monday.

"She was special. She was built like Kobe. Just to watch her play was like watching a young Kobe," he said.

By Justin Carissimo
 

Lakers vs. Clippers game postponed

The NBA has postponed the matchup between the Los Angeles Lakers and LA Clippers on Tuesday following the death of Kobe Bryant. The game was scheduled for 10 p.m. on Tuesday and will be rescheduled at a later date, the league said in a statement.

"The decision was made out of respect for the Lakers organization, which is deeply grieving the tragic loss of Lakers legend Kobe Bryant, his daughter Gianna and seven other people in a helicopter crash on Sunday," the statement said. 

Obit Bryant Basketball
People gather outside Staples Center after the death of Kobe Bryant, Sunday, January 26, 2020, in Los Angeles. Michael Owen Baker / AP
By Justin Carissimo
 

Artist paints mural of Kobe and Gigi in Los Angeles

Jules Muck, an artist who paints murals across the city, spray painted a portrait of Kobe Bryant and his 13-year-old daughter, Gianna "Gigi" Bryant, in the Mid-City neighborhood. She shared images of the new artwork on Instagram on Sunday.

By Justin Carissimo
 

Time magazine posts photo of Kobe Bryant cover

Time magazine will honor Kobe Bryant on its next cover. The magazine posted a photo of the cover to Twitter on Monday and said it would be on newsstands Friday.

Also on Monday, ESPN posted a video of how Bryant's death was covered around the world.

See more photos from Bryant's extraordinary career:

By Alex Sundby
 

Allen Iverson shares memory of Bryant's dedication from rookie season

Kobe Bryant, No. 24 of the Los Angeles Lakers, and Allen Iverson, No. 3 of the Denver Nuggets, greet each other before tip-off at the Pepsi Center on March 15, 2007, in Denver, Colorado.
Kobe Bryant, left, greets Allen Iverson on March 15, 2007, in Denver. Doug Pensinger/Getty

Hall of Famer Allen Iverson said Kobe Bryant prepared "relentlessly," and he shared a memory from their rookie season to illustrate that. During Iverson's first trip to Los Angeles to play against the Lakers, Bryant took him to a restaurant.

"When we returned before he left, he asked me, 'what are you going to do tonight'?" Iversion said in a statement. "My reply was, 'I'm going to the club, what are you going to do?' He said, 'I'm going to the gym.' That is who he always was, a true student of the game of basketball and also the game of life. He prepared relentlessly."

Iverson said he was "devastated and heartbroken" from Bryant's death. "We are not okay," he said. "But we will find the strength to pull through this together because that's what Kobe would want us to do."

By Alex Sundby
 

Phil Jackson says his relationship with Bryant "transcended the norm"

Los Angeles Lakers head coach Phil Jackson and Kobe Bryant attend Bryant's hand and footprint ceremony at Grauman's Chinese Theater on February 19, 2011, in Hollywood, California.
Former Lakers head coach Phil Jackson and Kobe Bryant at Grauman's Chinese Theater on February 19, 2011, in Hollywood. David Livingston/Getty

Former Lakers coach Phil Jackson said the relationship he had with Kobe Bryant "transcended the norm." Jackson coached the Lakers when Bryant led the team to win five championships.

"The crash was a tragedy for multiple families," Jackson said in a statement. "My heart goes out to Vanessa and the families that lost loved ones. Kobe was a chosen one — special in many ways to many people. Our relationship as coach/player transcended the norm. He went beyond the veil."

By Alex Sundby
 

"The ultimate competitor, the ultimate worker"

Wally Szczerbiak on Kobe Bryant's legacy 07:27

Kobe Bryant was the greatest Laker of all time, CBS Sports analyst Wally Szczerbiak said on CBSN on Monday. "He was a great sportsman too … the ultimate competitor, the ultimate worker," said Szczerbiak, who faced Bryant many times during his years in the NBA.

Szczerbiak said Bryant's legacy will be his passion for basketball. "He was all about the game, and he relayed that on the court, and I think that's why he had so many fans all over the place, why so many kids just looked up to him because you knew when he played the game there was no other agenda than getting the ball and winning," Szczerbiak said.

By Alex Sundby
 

Tiger Woods was told of Bryant's death after finishing golf tournament

Tiger Woods was visibly surprised by the news of Kobe Bryant's death as he walked off the golf course at Sunday's Farmers Insurance Open, "CBS This Morning: Saturday" co-host Dana Jacobson reports. "Kobe Bryant died in a helicopter crash," his caddy Joe Lacava said.

"Excuse me?" Woods said. He later told CBS Sports he didn't understand why people on the course were saying, "Do it for Mamba."

"He burned so competitively hot," Woods told CBS. "He brought it each and every night on both ends of the floor."

 

All 9 victims in helicopter crash identified

victims.png
All nine victims of the crash have been identified. CBS News

The retired NBA star was killed after his personal helicopter crashed into a steep hillside Sunday morning, killing everyone on board. Bryant, his daughter and seven other people were on their way to his Mamba Cup tournament, a boys and girls youth basketball league Bryant founded after he retired. Bryant was to coach his daughter Gianna's team. 

In addition to Bryant and 13-year-old Gianna, the victims were identified as Orange Coast College baseball coach John Altobelli, his wife Keri and daughter Alyssa; Sarah Chester and her daughter Payton, who was a teammate of Gianna Bryant's; the girls' assistant coach Christina Mauser; and the pilot, Ara Zobayan.

Jonathan Vigliotti

 

Michael Jordan says Bryant "was like a little brother to me"

All-time NBA great Michael Jordan says "words can't describe the pain" he's feeling over the death of Kobe Bryant.

Jordan issued a statement through his agent and spokesperson, Estee Portnoy:

Jordan also retweeted a tribute from Nike, a company that's had a long association with them both:

By Brian Dakss
 

Naomi Osaka: "Thank you for existing"

Tennis star Naomi Osaka tweeted a letter she wrote to Bryant as her way of expressing grief:

By Brian Dakss
 

Grammy performers have Bryant jersey on stage

Lil Nas X with Kobe jersey — Grammy Awards 2020
Lil Nas X performs during the 62nd Annual GRAMMY Awards at Staples Center on January 26, 2020 in Los Angeles, California. Getty

 Lil Nas X started the performance of "Old Town Road" with a #24 Bryant jersey on stage. Nas was then joined by an all-star cast including Billy Ray Cyrus, Diplo, Mason Ramsey and BTS.

Aerosmith and Run-D.M.C. performed "Walk This Way" at the Grammys, with a member of Run DMC's entourage holding up a #24 Lakers jersey. Run DMC. also paid tribute to their late band member, Jam Master Jay, who died  in 2002, by using his logo as a backdrop.

Run DMC — Grammy Awards 2020
Darryl "DMC" McDaniels of Run DMC, DJ Ruckus and DJ Charlie Chan perform onstage during the 62nd Annual Grammy Awards at Staples Center on January 26, 2020, in Los Angeles, California. Getty
By Caroline Linton
 

Magic Johnson: "I thought he was going to live forever"

Magic Johnson remembers Kobe Bryant 19:35

 NBA legend Magic Johnson spoke movingly about Bryant's legacy on and off the court in an emotional phone interview with CBS Los Angeles. 

"I thought he was going to live forever. I thought he was invincible," said Johnson. "He played like that. He walked like that. He was a confident young man."

In the heartfelt tribute, Johnson shared moments that he had with Bryant, and reflected on their relationship, his impact on the city of Los Angeles and his role as a father.

"We will always remember what Kobe Bryant did on the court. We will remember what he did off the court and for the city. I do not think right now that we can put it into words what he meant for Los Angeles. I will miss him," Johnson shared.

"When you put on that uniform, the Laker uniform, there was nobody who took more pride in being a Laker than Kobe. It was amazing."

Johnson played point guard for the Lakers for 13 seasons before he retired. Bryant played all 20 seasons with the Lakers, winning three consecutive championships in 2000, 2001 and 2002.

"We need Kobe to be around. And our kids who idolized him. And the fan base who idolized him. There was more for him to do. He died way too early. And he left quite a legacy," Johnson said.

"He was special. God created the special basketball player and the special man. We will miss him, " he continued. "He impacted the world. And very few athletes get to impact the world like Kobe Bryant did."

By Chevaz Clarke
 

Shaquille O'Neal tweets "there's no words"

Shaquille O'Neal, Bryant's teammate on the Lakers, tweeted "there's no words" and that he is "crying right now." He also tweeted photos of the two of them together.

By Caroline Linton
 

Kareem Abdul-Jabbar: "This loss is just hard to comprehend"

Kareem Abdul-Jabbar on Kobe Bryant's death 03:23

Kareem Abdul-Jabbar, the all-time NBA leading scorer, posted a video of his reaction to Bryant's death. Abdul-Jabbar said he had known Bryant's father and had known Bryant since he was young. 

"It's hard for me to understand how this is affecting Joe and his wife," Abdul-Jabbar said. "So to Kobe's family, I want to send my most sincere and heartfelt regrets and prayers and my thoughts are with you guys. Kobe was an incredible family man  — he loved his wife and daughters, he was an incredible athlete and a leader in a lot of ways — he inspired a whole generation of young athletes."

Abdul-Jabbar said he was at the 2006 game when Bryant scored 81 points. "I will always remember as one of the highlights of one of things I have learned and observed in sports," Abdul-Jabbar said.

By Caroline Linton
 

"He means a lot to me," says Doc Rivers while choking back tears

Clippers coach Doc Rivers mourns Kobe Bryant 05:02
By Caroline Linton
 

Former Lakers general manager Jerry West: "I felt like I lost a son"

Ex-Lakers GM on Kobe Bryant's death 16:00
By Caroline Linton
 

Dwyane Wade: "I'm going to miss our friendship"

Retired Miami Heat star Dwyane Wade posted tributes to Bryant on his Instagram Story. 

"Today is one of the saddest days in my lifetime," Wade said. "This seems like a bad dream that you just want to wake up from. It's a nightmare. I know we are from the same way, and just a great leader, a great champion, a great person. If you got the chance to know Kobe, to really know Kobe, there ain't nobody better, man. Emotions are all over the place —  these are the moments where ask why." 

Wade then posted clips in the Story of him and Bryant together, photos of them and also photos of Bryant and Gianna. 

"My heart goes out to Kobe's family," Wade continued. "His daughter Gigi, this is a sad day."There's no way around it. My family and I have been sharing Kobe stories. We have so many moments that he's given us. I'm so thankful for those moments. I'm so thankful for those moments, man. He's one of my favorite players.  I got a chance to have a relationship, a friendship. I'm going to miss our friendship." 

Wade said he "chased" Bryant when came in the league and that he wanted to be respected by him.

"You're our legend, you're our icon, you're our father, you're our husband, our son, our brother, our friend," Wade said. "Thank you for being my friend."

By Caroline Linton
 

NBA players call for the league to retire No. 24

Several NBA stars are calling for the league to retire the number 24 to honor Kobe Bryant. Utah Jazz star Donovan Mitchell, Miami Heat rookie Tyler Herro and Cleveland Cavaliers center Tristan Thompson were among the players voicing support for the change.

Toronto Raptors player Norman Powell, who wears 24, reportedly said he would support such a decision by the league. 

The late NBA legend changed his number from 8 to 24 during the 2006 season. Bryant said it was a "clean slate" after Shaquille O'Neal was traded to the Miami Heat in 2004.

By Justin Carissimo
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