Kobe Bryant remembered: A year after the deadly helicopter crash
The shock wave is still there, very present. In Los Angeles, the shadow of Kobe Bryant hangs over every NBA court. A year ago, on January 26, 2020, the sports world learned of the death of the former Lakers star in a helicopter crash. He, the basketball monument, tragically disappeared at the age of 41, taken with his daughter Gianna, 13, and the other seven passengers. A drama from which Americans are still struggling to recover.
Magic Johnson: “I always think of him”
The void left by his disappearance is immense. “His legacy will always be there, his spirit too,” said Magic Johnson, another legend of the Lakers, at the. People will always be talking about him. Not just for what he accomplished on the pitch but for what he meant for his family, for women’s sport, for the homeless, for those who championed a cause… They always had this message from Kobe: ‘ Keep your head up. He was simply unique and special. I’m always thinking about him.”
On a mission, the Lakers won the 17th NBA title in their history in October. A title for Black Mamba. “We have lived a heartbreaking tragedy with the loss of our beloved Kobe and Gianna. May this trophy remind us that when we come together, that we believe in each other, incredible things can happen”, had said owner Jeanie Buss.
Davis: “I still can’t believe it”
Three months later, the emotion is still palpable. LeBron James has repeatedly refused to answer certain questions relating to the death of Kobe Bryant. The Lakers star does not want to think again about that fateful January 26, 2020. “It’s too dark,” he said before adding on: “As a saying goes, time does its work. But it takes time. Everyone has their own grieving process.” His partner Anthony Davis still hasn’t recovered from the drama, either: “As we approach the first anniversary we are deeply saddened to realize that he’s no longer here,” said the other LA crackpot. . I’m still struggling with this, I still can’t believe it. ”
Same trauma at Pau Gasol, with whom Black Mamba won two of his four NBA titles in 2009 and 2010. “I’m not comfortable talking about it, slips the Spaniard. I’m sorry. Until today ‘ Yeah, I never really talked about it. ”
For LeBron James, “legends never die”
This Tuesday, the anniversary of the accident, the Lakers will not play. The partners of LeBron James have an appointment Wednesday in Philadelphia. According to ESPN, there will be no official tribute. Through their battle cry, “1, 2, 3 Mamba” or the signature of the former No. 24 on their shoes, the players of the California franchise will nevertheless continue to honor the legend. And Kobe Bryant will still be with them in the quest for a second straight title.
“When the tragedy happened, we were like, ‘Let’s do it for him,’ remembers Anthony Davis. And that’s what we have been working to do throughout the year. We have fought for it. one goal and it wasn’t just for us but also for his family. And we got there. ” Despite complicated and painful mourning, the star that shines above the Lakers is not about to die out: “A lot of things go away but legends never die,” concludes LeBron James.