Entertainment

Kobe Bryant’s Death Has Fans Mourning A Huge Loss: From Bad Bunny To Ricky Martin, Here’s How Latinos Are Reacting

The news sent shockwaves around the world when it was announced that a basketball legend, Kobe Bryant, died on Sunday in a helicopter crash outside of Los Angeles.

Kobe Bryant, a legendary shooting guard for the LA Lakers was just 41 years old and was one of nine victims to have died in the accident. His death has brought together people from a diverse range of backgrounds, but it’s especially painful for Latinos, who were among the first to embrace the Black Mamba and with whom Kobe had a major impact as a member of the Lakers. Fans around the world are left mourning a basketball legend and processing his complicated legacy.

Death of the 41-year-old basketball legend shook communities around the world.

News broke on Sunday that the 41-year-old had died, along with nine others, in a tragic helicopter crash in the hills outside of Los Angeles. The identity of all aboard are still undisclosed at this time, pending further investigation and conversation with next of kin, according to an LA County Sheriff at a press briefing earlier today.

Bryant is survived by his wife Vanessa Bryant, and three other daughters – Natalia Diamante, Bianka Bella and Capri Kobe, who is only 7 months old.

While it was unclear who else was with Bryant at the time of his death, TMZ Sports confirmed that his 13-year-old daughter, Gianna Maria Onore, was one of the passengers who died in the accident. Gianna and Kobe were on their way to the Mamba Academy in Thousand Oaks.

Preliminary investigations report that the helicopter went down in dense fog that had grounded most other aircraft in the region.

Credit: Mark Terrill / Getty

Bryant was known to use his helicopter to commute between his home in Newport Beach and the Staples Center in Downtown Los Angeles. However, for this journey, he was commuting to a sports academy in the Valley.

Los Angeles is known for dense fog and this Sunday morning was no different. In fact, the dense fog had led to the temporary suspension of flights from LAX and most other civilian helicopter operations.

As news of the star’s death spread, so too did the heartfelt messages of loss and grief.

Credit: ABC 7 LA

“[This] is why I don’t wait for tomorrow,” J Balvin wrote. “So many surprises in life that the present escapes us.” Dozens of others weighed in as well.

AOC sent her condolences to the victims and their families in a tweet saying: “Deeply shocked at the news of Kobe Bryant and four others lost today. Sending all my thoughts to their families and loved ones in this devastating moment.“

Bad Bunny had a special message about the super star’s untimely passing.

Credit: BadBunnyPR / Instagram

“I never would have imagined this would hurt so much!” he said. “I still remember the first time I saw a game of basketball at 7 years old with my dad, and it was a game with this genius, and from that day forward he became my favorite player x100pre!! I’ve never mentioned it because it doesn’t necessarily have to do with music, but this man has been an inspiration in many aspects for me to be who I am today. RIP GOAT!!! Rest in PEACE!!!! Thank you for inspiring me so much!! Thanks for so many emotions!!! How sad I feel!!! A legend is gone!! Along with a beautiful child and basketball promise, Gianna… It breaks my soul too know that I was going to meet, and share time, with you soon…”

And Anuel AA shared his take on the tragedy, one that many people could relate to.

“Wow, my hero died,” he said. “This is unbelievable. I’m here crying as if I knew him, heartbroken. Rest in peace, legend, you left a mark on the world. May God continue blessing his family and fill them with strength. Wow what sadness. [Kobe Bryant] your name will live forever.”

Kobe Bryant shared a special kinship with his Latino fans, who he said were the first to embrace him.

Credit: KobeBryant / Instagram

As the tributes pour in, many are remembering the impact Kobe had on LA’s Latino community.

A few years ago, he thanked the Latino community for their support.

“Latino fans are important to me, because when I arrived [in Los Angeles] they were the fans who most passionately embraced me,” he said. Bryant added that his Spanish was “not that good,” but this appeared to have been a modest assessment, as he routinely conducted full-length interviews in Spanish, which endeared him even more to Latino fans. He said that he was inspired to learn the language because of his wife and because his Latino fans “mean everything” to him. He told Univision in a separate interview that he learned Spanish through watching telenovelas with his family.

However, Bryant’s story wasn’t one without its blemishes. He was accused of sexual assault in 2003.

Credit: Jerome Nakagawa / Flickr

Bryant’s sexual assault case was another scandal that rocked the sport’s world and his own image. The charges brought against him were serious. He was accused of raping a hotel employee while at a Colorado resort – a claim that he denied saying the sexual encounter was consensual. The case was eventually settled out of court, according to The Guardian.

As much of the world is still in shock regarding the untimely loss of such an iconic man, his success as a basketball great will live on.

You Can Still Watch Kobe And Gianna Bryant’s Tearful Memorial Service

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You Can Still Watch Kobe And Gianna Bryant’s Tearful Memorial Service

CNN / Twitter

It was a sad and reflective day at the Staples Center today as fans and friends of the late basketball player Kobe Bryant gathered to celebrate his life as well as that of his daughter Gianna Bryant. The memorial held in their honor saw guests speak about their lives, passion for the game of basketball and love for the people they left behind.

Here’s a look at the top most emotional moments from the memorial today.

Christina Aguilera’s “Ave Maria” performance

The six-time Grammy Award-winning singer Christina Aguilera took the stage at Staples to perform “Ave Maria” for Kobe and Gianna Bryant’s memorial service.

Shaq reflected on his rivalry with Kobe.

Shaquille O’Neal, Kobe Bryant’s long time competitor, opened up about life as his teammate.

“We fought and we bantered back and forth with offhanded remarks, but make no mistakes, and you folks thought we were on bad terms, and when the cameras were turned off we would wink at each other and said, ‘let’s go whip some ass.'”

O’Neil also shared a sweet anecdote about their relationship as teammates. “Kobe and I always maintained a deep respect and love with one another. The day Kobe gained my respect was when the guys were complaining, and they said, Kobe’s not passing the ball. I said I will talk to him. I said, Kobe, there’s no “I” in team, and he said, I know, but there’s a “Me” in that m**********r.” Shaq recalled he returned back to his other teammates and said “Just get the rebound, he’s not passing.”26 min ago

Michael Jordan described Kobe’s death saying “a piece of me died.”

Michael Jordan had long been attributed to being Kobe Bryant’s inspiration for his successful basketball careers. Speaking about learning about Bryant’s death, Jordan said “When Kobe Bryant died, a piece of me died.”

Kobe’s wife Vanessa brought the stadium to tears with her speech.

Though Kobe’s wife Vanessa gave her speech early on during the memorial, her’s was by far the most sentimental and emotional. Speaking about her daughter Giana, Vanessa recalled how she was “very thoughtful and always kissed me good night and kissed me good morning. There were a few occasions where I was absolutely tired from being up with Bianka and Capri, and i thought she had left to school without saying goodbye. I text and say, ‘No kiss?’ And Gianna would reply with, ‘Mama, I kissed you. You were asleep and I didn’t want to wake you.’ She knew how much her morning and evening kisses meant to me, and she was so thoughtful to remember to kiss me every day. She was daddy’s girl, but I know she loved her mama, and she would always show me and tell me that she loved me. She was one of my very best friends.”

Speaking about her husband Kobe, Vanessa recalled how “A couple weeks before they passed Kobe sent me a sweet text and mentioned how he wanted to spend time together, just the two of us, without our kids, because I am his best friend first. We never got the chance to do it. We were busy taking care of our girls and just doing our regular everyday responsibilities. But I’m thankful I have that recent text. It means so much to me. Kobe wanted us to renew our vows. He wanted Natalia to take over his company and he wanted to travel the world together. We talked about how we would be the fun grandparents to our daughters’ children. He would have been the coolest grandpa..”

Bad Bunny Released A New Song In Honor Of Kobe Bryant And Fans Are Crying

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Bad Bunny Released A New Song In Honor Of Kobe Bryant And Fans Are Crying

kobebryant / badbunnypr / Instagram

Kobe Bryant’s death on Jan. 26 shocked the sporting world and millions of fans around the world. News that his daughter Gianna Maria-Onore Bryant was also on the helicopter when it crashed furthered the heartbreak. Tributes and love have been pouring in for Kobe and his daughter and now Bad Bunny released a song dedicated to the basketball legend.

Bad Bunny’s song “6 Rings” in honor of Kobe Bryant is a heartfelt note to an incredible father and athlete.

Credit: @DahliaPerezz / Twitter

Bad Bunny really went for it with his song honoring Kobe Bryant and his daughter. Kobe was an inspiration for millions of people and his death was a shock that is still being felt. Bad Bunny’s song has brought those emotions back to the surface.

The lyrics are bringing fans of the basketball player to tears.

Kobe fans are grieving the sudden loss of the sports star. The lyrics of Bad Bunny’s song are both helping fans grieve and celebrate Kobe and his incredible career.

Even Soundcloud chimed in to honor Kobe via Bad Bunny’s tweet about the song.

Credit: @SoundCloud / Twitter

The last 24 seconds of the song are audio of Kobe Bryant speaking to fans. It ends with the basketball player saying, “Mamba out” followed by cheers from fans. The touching addition of Kobe’s voice makes the song more powerful and emotionally charged.

The sound of Kobe’s voice in the song is just too much for some of the people listening to the song.

Hearing his voice is just too real for some people still grieving. The end of Kobe’s speech with his phrase “Mamba out” is the perfect way to end the song.

The loss of Kobe is still something people are grappling with.

Credit: @Enmanuel_Cuello / Twitter

Sudden deaths are often very difficult to overcome, especially when the people we lose are young. Kobe was 41 and Gianna was 16 when they died in the helicopter crash. Our thoughts are with their family and friends as they try to navigate this confusing and painful time.

You can hear the full song below.

Rest in peace, Kobe and Gianna.

READ: Kobe Bryant’s Death Has Fans Mourning A Huge Loss: From Bad Bunny To Ricky Martin, Here’s How Latinos Are Reacting