Chants of "Thank you Kobe" drowned out the sounds of the Grammy Awards red carpet at the Staples Center on Sunday, as hundreds of fans gathered in Los Angeles to helicopter crash Sunday morning while flying through Calabasas, California.. Bryant, along with eight others, died in a
The Staples Center, home to the Los Angeles Lakers, where Bryant spent his entire NBA career, displayed a photo of Bryant on the outdoor billboards as crying fans laid wreaths, flowers, candles and signs of appreciation outside the arena. A Bryant No. 24 jersey was also placed at a makeshift shrine in his honor. Many of those gathered could be seen wearing the five-time NBA champion's jersey.
According to CBS Sports, Bryant played more games with the Lakers than anyone else in the franchise's history. Along with being the team's all-time leader in points, minutes, and steals, he is also the only NBA player to have had multiple jerseys retired by a single franchise. The Lakers retired his No. 8 and No. 24 jerseys in 2017.
Former Lakers General Manager Jerry West told CBS Los Angeles that he was "shocked" when he heard the news of Bryant's death. "I really felt like a surrogate father to him," he said. "This has been one of the most horrible days of our life."
Lakers legend Magic Johnson said "people are going to miss his smile."
"...Kobe had an aura about him. I thought he was gonna live forever, I thought he was invincible. He played like that, he walked like that, he was just a confident young man," Johnson told CBS Los Angeles. "The city needs heroes, we need our heroes to be here and this is not a good day for the city of Los Angeles because we needed Kobe to still be around."
The circumstances surrounding the helicopter crash are still being investigated. Bryant's 13-year-old daughter,, also died in the crash.