Fans Gather Throughout LA to Mourn Death of Basketball Legend Kobe Bryant – NBC Los Angeles

on Jan26
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Fan mourned and paid their respects to Lakers great Kobe Bryant throughout Los Angeles, just hours after his death in a Calabasas helicopter crash.

A group of fans gathered in the streets surrounding the Calabasas hillside where the helicopter crashed just before 10 a.m. on a foggy Sunday, carrying Bryant, his 13-year-old daughter Gianna and seven other people.

“I feel just disbelief, it’s Kobe — he is invincible,” a fan who gathered at the crash site said through tears.

“I’m really concerned about his family,” said another fan wearing a jersey as he stared at the smoke around the hillside. “Being here is a little bit harder than I thought. Seeing the smoke is making it a little too real for me.”

Another fan said he was eating breakfast nearby when he saw the plane. “We were eating having a good time and saw a helicopter fly by, low and kind of losing control,” he said.

“Then just two minutes, we hear a great legend was in that helicopter. It’s insane. A lot of people in Los Angeles look up to this guy because he came from nothing. It’s literally the American dream.”

“I feel his presence. I feel Los Angeles’ presence,” Phillip, a fan who arrived at the crash site wearing a Kobe jersey and decked out in Lakers gear, said through tears. “In my 45 years of living, I have not felt this much grief.”

Fans mourned the legend outside the Staples Center, holding posters and chanting “Kobe, Kobe, Kobe!”

“It’s not real. I feel for Vanessa, his daughters, his loving dad. Everybody here has so much pain,” said Crystal, sobbing outside of Staples Center. “Kobe is so great and I’m waiting for someone to tell me this isn’t real. I feel like I just lost part of me. Growing up watching him play, I played basketball because of him.”

“This shows how much he was loved,” said Justin, who drove from Whittier to the Staples Center said. “He was the whole city of LA.”

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