DavidGreen
Posted by DavidGreen
Feb 07, 2020

Introduction

On Sunday, January 26th, 2020 Kobe Bryant and one of his daughters, Gianna Bryant, were among the nine people that were killed in a tragic and fatal helicopter crash in Calabasas, California. Bryant was only 41 years old, and the recently retired professional basketball player was one of the greatest all-time players in the National Basketball Association (NBA).

Kobe and Gianna Bryant were on their way to her youth basketball game that Sunday when the helicopter crashed killing everyone on board. Gianna was only 13 years old, unfortunately. Currently the cause of the helicopter crash is still unknown. Federal investigators are actively investigating the crash as well as trying to figure out what caused the horrible tragedy. Mechanical failure is a possible cause of the crash.

The Flight Manifest:

  • Kobe Bryant
  • Gianna Bryant
  • John Altobelli
  • Keri Altobelli
  • Alyssa Altobelli
  • Christina Mauser
  • Sarah Chester
  • Payton Chester
  • Ara Zobayan (Pilot)

Flight Details

The pilot, Ara Zobayan, was very experienced and often flew high profile customers such as Kylie Jenner and Kawhi Leonard. The flight took off from Orange County where skies were clear at takeoff, but the helicopter flew through heavy clouds and thick fog shortly after takeoff. Even the Los Angeles Police Department grounded their fleet of helicopters due to the visibility concerns caused by the immense clouds and fog.

The helicopter fell at a rate of 23 miles per hour prior to slamming into a hillside in a high energy impact crash according to the N.T.S.B. Radar data indicated that the helicopter was traveling forward at the high rate of speed of 152 miles per hour just before it crashed. The helicopter slammed into that hillside at 1085 feet, after climbing up to 2300 feet. It may have missed clearing the top of the hill by only 20 to 30 feet!

The aircraft that crashed did not have a key warning system. This system is designed to warn the pilot if they are getting too close to the ground which may or may not have helped in this situation. The helicopter company involved in this crash did not have certification to fly in poor visibility. The luxury helicopter that crashed was considered and had a reputation for being an extremely safe aircraft. More details will be released once the Federal investigation has been completed.

Bryant’s Legacy

Bryant is known as one of the best NBA players of all time. He had the reputation for being one of the hardest competitors which most likely came from following Michael Jordan and his illustrious career. He played hard and with purpose, and he didn’t just score at will but played aggressive defense as well. Bryant was a five time NBA champion and will be remembered as a legend of the game. R.I.P.

Career Regular Season Statistics

Season Age Tm Lg Pos G GS MP FG FGA FG% 3P 3PA 3P% 2P 2PA 2P% eFG% FT FTA FT% ORB DRB TRB AST STL BLK TOV PF PTS
1996-97 18 LAL NBA SG 71 6 1103 176 422 0.417 51 136 0.375 125 286 0.437 0.477 136 166 0.819 47 85 132 91 49 23 112 102 539
1997-98 19 LAL NBA SG 79 1 2056 391 913 0.428 75 220 0.341 316 693 0.456 0.469 363 457 0.794 79 163 242 199 74 40 157 180 1220
1998-99 20 LAL NBA SG 50 50 1896 362 779 0.465 27 101 0.267 335 678 0.494 0.482 245 292 0.839 53 211 264 190 72 50 157 153 996
1999-00 21 LAL NBA SG 66 62 2524 554 1183 0.468 46 144 0.319 508 1039 0.489 0.488 331 403 0.821 108 308 416 323 106 62 182 220 1485
2000-01 22 LAL NBA SG 68 68 2783 701 1510 0.464 61 200 0.305 640 1310 0.489 0.484 475 557 0.853 104 295 399 338 114 43 220 222 1938
2001-02 23 LAL NBA SG 80 80 3063 749 1597 0.469 33 132 0.25 716 1465 0.489 0.479 488 589 0.829 112 329 441 438 118 35 223 228 2019
2002-03 24 LAL NBA SG 82 82 3401 868 1924 0.451 124 324 0.383 744 1600 0.465 0.483 601 713 0.843 106 458 564 481 181 67 288 218 2461
2003-04 25 LAL NBA SG 65 64 2447 516 1178 0.438 71 217 0.327 445 961 0.463 0.468 454 533 0.852 103 256 359 330 112 28 171 176 1557
2004-05 26 LAL NBA SG 66 66 2689 573 1324 0.433 131 387 0.339 442 937 0.472 0.482 542 664 0.816 95 297 392 398 86 53 270 174 1819
2005-06 27 LAL NBA SG 80 80 3277 978 2173 0.45 180 518 0.347 798 1655 0.482 0.491 696 819 0.85 71 354 425 360 147 30 250 233 2832
2006-07 28 LAL NBA SG 77 77 3140 813 1757 0.463 137 398 0.344 676 1359 0.497 0.502 667 768 0.868 75 364 439 413 111 36 255 205 2430
2007-08 29 LAL NBA SG 82 82 3192 775 1690 0.459 150 415 0.361 625 1275 0.49 0.503 623 742 0.84 94 423 517 441 151 40 257 227 2323
2008-09 30 LAL NBA SG 82 82 2960 800 1712 0.467 118 336 0.351 682 1376 0.496 0.502 483 564 0.856 90 339 429 399 120 37 210 189 2201
2009-10 31 LAL NBA SG 73 73 2835 716 1569 0.456 99 301 0.329 617 1268 0.487 0.488 439 541 0.811 78 313 391 365 113 20 233 187 1970
2010-11 32 LAL NBA SG 82 82 2779 740 1639 0.451 115 356 0.323 625 1283 0.487 0.487 483 583 0.828 83 336 419 388 99 12 243 172 2078
2011-12 33 LAL NBA SG 58 58 2232 574 1336 0.43 87 287 0.303 487 1049 0.464 0.462 381 451 0.845 66 247 313 264 69 18 204 105 1616
2012-13 34 LAL NBA SG 78 78 3013 738 1595 0.463 132 407 0.324 606 1188 0.51 0.504 525 626 0.839 66 367 433 469 106 25 287 173 2133
2013-14 35 LAL NBA SG 6 6 177 31 73 0.425 3 16 0.188 28 57 0.491 0.445 18 21 0.857 2 24 26 38 7 1 34 9 83
2014-15 36 LAL NBA SG 35 35 1207 266 713 0.373 54 184 0.293 212 529 0.401 0.411 196 241 0.813 26 173 199 197 47 7 128 65 782
2015-16 37 LAL NBA SF 66 66 1863 398 1113 0.358 133 467 0.285 265 646 0.41 0.417 232 281 0.826 41 206 247 184 62 13 129 115 1161
Career     NBA   1346 1198 48637 11719 26200 0.447 1827 5546 0.329 9892 20654 0.479 0.482 8378 10011 0.837 1499 5548 7047 6306 1944 640 4010 3353 33643

Bryant's Career Playoff Statistics

Season Age Tm Lg Pos G GS MP FG FGA FG% 3P 3PA 3P% 2P 2PA 2P% eFG% FT FTA FT% ORB DRB TRB AST STL BLK TOV PF PTS
1996-97 18 LAL NBA SG 9 0 133 21 55 0.382 6 23 0.261 15 32 0.469 0.436 26 30 0.867 1 10 11 11 3 2 14 23 74
1997-98 19 LAL NBA SG 11 0 220 31 76 0.408 3 14 0.214 28 62 0.452 0.428 31 45 0.689 7 14 21 16 3 8 11 28 96
1998-99 20 LAL NBA SG 8 8 315 61 142 0.43 8 23 0.348 53 119 0.445 0.458 28 35 0.8 13 42 55 37 15 10 31 24 158
1999-00 21 LAL NBA SG 22 22 857 174 394 0.442 22 64 0.344 152 330 0.461 0.47 95 126 0.754 26 72 98 97 32 32 55 89 465
2000-01 22 LAL NBA SG 16 16 694 168 358 0.469 11 34 0.324 157 324 0.485 0.485 124 151 0.821 29 87 116 97 25 12 51 53 471
2001-02 23 LAL NBA SG 19 19 833 187 431 0.434 22 58 0.379 165 373 0.442 0.459 110 145 0.759 28 83 111 87 27 17 54 65 506
2002-03 24 LAL NBA SG 12 12 531 137 317 0.432 25 62 0.403 112 255 0.439 0.472 86 104 0.827 16 45 61 62 14 1 42 35 385
2003-04 25 LAL NBA SG 22 22 973 190 460 0.413 24 97 0.247 166 363 0.457 0.439 135 166 0.813 18 86 104 121 42 7 61 59 539
2005-06 27 LAL NBA SG 7 7 314 72 145 0.497 14 35 0.4 58 110 0.527 0.545 37 48 0.771 4 40 44 36 8 3 33 25 195
2006-07 28 LAL NBA SG 5 5 215 60 130 0.462 10 28 0.357 50 102 0.49 0.5 34 37 0.919 1 25 26 22 5 2 22 10 164
2007-08 29 LAL NBA SG 21 21 863 222 463 0.479 32 106 0.302 190 357 0.532 0.514 157 194 0.809 18 101 119 117 35 8 70 59 633
2008-09 30 LAL NBA SG 23 23 940 242 530 0.457 37 106 0.349 205 424 0.483 0.492 174 197 0.883 19 104 123 126 38 21 59 59 695
2009-10 31 LAL NBA SG 23 23 923 234 511 0.458 49 131 0.374 185 380 0.487 0.506 154 183 0.842 26 112 138 126 31 16 79 75 671
2010-11 32 LAL NBA SG 10 10 354 83 186 0.446 12 41 0.293 71 145 0.49 0.478 50 61 0.82 8 26 34 33 16 3 31 23 228
2011-12 33 LAL NBA SG 12 12 476 132 301 0.439 17 60 0.283 115 241 0.477 0.467 79 95 0.832 16 42 58 52 16 2 34 33 360
Career     NBA   220 200 8641 2014 4499 0.448 292 882 0.331 1722 3617 0.476 0.48 1320 1617 0.816 230 889 1119 1040 310 144 647 660 5640

Media Statements

"She was an amazing mother," says her husband, Matt Mauser. "Our kids are amazing, they're bright, they're engaged, they engage in conversation, all that because of their mom. So I just, just try, I just want people to know how amazing my wife was."

Matt Mauser stated to his wife, "Christina, you're doing something that, you know, no other person in the world is doing. You're coaching basketball with Kobe, and I'm so proud of you."

Riley Chester, Payton's brother, posted on Instagram: "Rest in Peace to the most amazing Mother and sister. I love you Pay Pay and Mom RIP."

"Everyone is in shock," a team source for the Los Angeles Lakers expressed.

"It's another guy that I looked up to when I was in grade school and high school," LeBron James proclaimed. "Seeing him come straight out of high school, he is someone that I used as inspiration. It was like, wow. Seeing a kid, 17 years old, come into the NBA and trying to make an impact on a franchise, I used it as motivation. He helped me before he even knew of me because of what he was able to do. So just to be able to, at this point of my career, to share the same jersey that he wore, be with this historical franchise and just represent the purple and gold, it's very humbling, and it's dope.

"Kobe's a legend. That's for damn sure."

Shaquille O'Neal, who won three titles with Bryant in Los Angeles, posted on Instagram: "There are no words to express the pain I'm going through now with this tragic and sad moment of loosing my neice Gigi & my friend, my brother, my partner in winning championships, my dude and my homie. I love you and you will be missed. My condolences goes out to the Bryant family and the families of the other passengers on board. IM SICK RIGHT NOW !!"

"The NBA family is devastated by the tragic passing of Kobe Bryant and his daughter, Gianna," NBA commissioner Adam Silver explained. "For 20 seasons, Kobe showed us what is possible when remarkable talent blends with an absolute devotion to winning. He was one of the most extraordinary players in the history of our game with accomplishments that are legendary: five NBA championships, an NBA MVP award, 18 NBA All-Star selections, and two Olympic gold medals. But he will be remembered most for inspiring people around the world to pick up a basketball and compete to the very best of their ability. He was generous with the wisdom he acquired and saw it as his mission to share it with future generations of players, taking special delight in passing down his love of the game to Gianna.

"We send our heartfelt condolences to his wife, Vanessa, and their family, the Lakers organization and the entire sports world."

"He knows how much I've learned from him," says Bryant of Michael Jordan in 2014, "from the other legends and him in particular."

"I am in shock over the tragic news of Kobe's and Gianna's passing," Jordan goes on to say. "Words can't describe the pain I'm feeling. I loved Kobe -- he was like a little brother to me. We used to talk often, and I will miss those conversations very much. He was a fierce competitor, one [of] the greats of the game and a creative force. Kobe was also an amazing dad who loved his family deeply -- and took great pride in his daughter's love for the game of basketball. Yvette [Prieto, Jordan's wife] joins me in sending my deepest condolences to Vanessa, the Lakers organization and basketball fans around the world."

Phil Jackson said, "The crash was a tragedy for multiple families. 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."

"I'm happy just to be in any conversation with Kobe Bean Bryant. One of the all-time greatest basketball players to ever play, one of the all-time greatest Lakers," says LeBron James. "The man got two jerseys hanging up in Staples Center. It's just crazy."

Earvin Magic Johnson Tweets: “As I try to write this post, my mind is racing. I’m in disbelief and have been crying all morning over this devastating news that Kobe and his young daughter, Gigi have passed away in a helicopter crash. Cookie and I are heartbroken.”

Bryant explained the sexual assault case from his past by saying, "(She) did not and does not view this incident the same way I did."

"He's one of the main reasons I'm still playing professional baseball," says Jeff McNeil in regards to Altobelli.

"He took a chance on me, kept me the whole summer," McNeil explained. "Him taking that chance on me, having me on his team, got me drafted."

On January 26, 2020, Colin Storm was in his living room in Calabasas when he heard, "What sounded like a low-flying airplane or helicopter."

"It was very foggy, so we couldn't see anything," says Storm. "But then we heard some sputtering and then a boom."

Sources:

“Kobe Bryant, daughter Gianna die in helicopter crash”, espn.com, January 26, 2020.

“Kobe Bryant”, basketball-reference.com, February 5, 2020.

“What We Know About the Helicopter Crash That Killed Kobe Bryant”, nytimes.com, January 31, 2020.

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