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Kobe Bryant & Daughter Gianna's Sudden Deaths Draw Fans to Staples Center in Tribute of the LA Lakers Legend

Manuela Cardiga
Jan 27, 2020
06:49 P.M.

Shocked crowds gathered outside Staples Center to honor Kobe Bryant and his daughter after a fatal chopper crash.

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Thousands of weeping fans gathered outside Staples Center to pay their last respects to NBA icon Kobe Bryant and his young daughter Gianna, who died in a helicopter crash near Calabasas.

The news of Bryant's demise was received with disbelieving grief by fans, who brought flowers, candles, and toys to remember the tragic demise of father and daughter.

Kobe Bryant, his daughter, and 7 other people were aboard his private helicopter, a Sikorsky S-76 when it struck a hillside in Calabasas

Kobe Bryant and daughter Gianna - both tragically deceased - at a WNBA basketball game/ Source: Getty Images

Kobe Bryant and daughter Gianna - both tragically deceased - at a WNBA basketball game/ Source: Getty Images

SPONTANEOUS EXPRESSION OF GRIEF

The Staples Center crowds left mementos in remembrance of Bryant, including hats, jerseys and basketballs, and some left dolls and teddy bears for Gigi.

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At the same time as the crowds mourned Bryant, the annual Grammy Awards ceremony was being held inside Staples Center and included a joint tribute to Bryant and rapper Nipsey Hussle, who had been shot to death in Crompton in March 2019.

NEW YORKERS MOURN KOBE BRYANT

As fans gathered to share their sorrow over Bryant's death in Los Angeles, right across the continent in New York others mourned in Madison Square Garden where the stadium's lights were changed to purple and gold in Bryant's honor.

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KOBE BRYANT'S HOME TOWN REMEMBERS NATIVE SON

More silent mourners gathered outside Bryant's former high school, Lower Merion High School, in the small town of Ardmore near Philadelphia where he grew up.

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The wave of grief remains unabated, and athletes and fans set up a shrine outside Bryant's Mamba Academy in Thousand Oaks, California, which he had founded and where he coached his daughter's basketball team.

Kobe Bryant's sudden death, as well as his daughter Gigi's and 7 other people traveling in the helicopter, has shaken the basketball community and left many families deeply wounded.

Kobe Bryant poses in front of his helicopter at Staples Center in Los Angeles, in 2016/ Source: Getty Images

Kobe Bryant poses in front of his helicopter at Staples Center in Los Angeles, in 2016/ Source: Getty Images

THE FATAL CRASH THAT CLAIMED KOBE BRYANT'S LIFE

Kobe Bryant, his daughter, and 7 other people were aboard his private helicopter, a Sikorsky S-76 when it struck a hillside in Calabasas amid heavy fog.

The downed chopper caught fire and sparked a blaze which was spotted by a group of mountain bikers who alerted the Los Angeles County Sheriff's Department.

5 of the victims have now been identified as pilot Ara Zobayan, Orange County College baseball coach John Altobelli, his wife Keri and daughter Alyssa, and basketball coach Christina Mauser.

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