Kobe Bryant’s tragic death unites Los Angeles in grief and mourning
The devastating news echoed across the world, but Los Angeles took the hardest hit. On Sunday morning, officials confirmed that legendary NBA player Kobe Bryant was tragically killed in a helicopter crash alongside his prodigy 13-year-old daughter, Gianna and seven other victims. Fans and celebrities alike mourned the loss of their fallen hero in droves, taking to social media to express their heartfelt anguish and condolences for the families affected.
Angelenos didn’t stop there. The grey, foggy day may have matched the somberness of the city’s heart, but not the actions of its locals.
Yahoo Sports Social Media Editor Zach Schwartz shared his profound experience on Twitter. “Bought flowers to bring over to the Staples Center.” he wrote “When the florist saw that I wanted purple and yellow she asked, ‘For Kobe?’ I nodded. When she finished I asked what I owed her. She shook her head, handed me the flowers and said ‘It’s LA.’ I almost cried. LA’s love for Kobe is powerful.”
Bought flowers to bring to staples center. When the florist saw that I wanted purple and yellow she asked, “for Kobe?” I nodded. When she finished I asked what I owed her. she shook her head, handed me the flowers and said “it’s LA”. I almost cried. LAs love for Kobe is powerful
— Zach Schwartz (@zachzachzach) January 26, 2020
Schwartz’s encounter was just one of many compassionate acts that occurred around the city on Sunday. Fans gathered around the iconic Staples Center, a place that Alicia Keys properly attributed to Kobe in her Grammy’s speech, calling it the “house that he built”. Crowds chanted “MVP” in unison, all while holding each other tearfully in solidarity.
Elsewhere in LA, notable landmarks paid their respects with artistic tributes. LAX Airport changed the colors of their prominent pylons to be lit in Bryant’s team colors, purple and gold. Santa Monica Pier illuminated their ferris wheel in purple, highlighting Bryant’s jersey number ‘24’ at the very center. Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti shared a stunning shot of City Hall on his Twitter; the building shining in purple and gold in honor of the Lakers’ legend. LA certainly lost a hero over the weekend, but his inspiration and legacy continues to live on.
Our deepest condolences go out to all the families involved in this tragic accident.
By Rachel Hallett
Photo: Tom Szczerbowski/USA Today Sports