MX23RW : Saturday, February 22 05:29:34| >> :600:2227057:2227057:

Kobe Bryant: Vigils held around Los Angeles after NBA legend's tragic death

Kobe Bryant: Vigils held around Los Angeles after NBA legend's tragic death
© Reuters
A vigil was held outside the Staples Centre, home of Kobe Bryant's former team the LA Lakers.

The city of Los Angeles has paid tribute to basketball star Kobe Bryant with vigils and tributes after his shock death in a helicopter crash.

The 41-year-old died alongside his 13-year-old daughter, Gianna, and seven other people in the accident in Southern California on Sunday morning.

Chants of "Kobe" could be heard during a vigil at the Staples Centre, home to the Los Angeles Lakers – the team Bryant played for for his entire glittering career.

A shrine to the five-time NBA champion has been set up outside the stadium, complete with candles, flowers and photographs from fans.

— Miguel (@morechune6ix) January 27, 2020

Former elementary school basketball coach Miguel Lopez was one of the thousands at the vigil and told the PA news agency: "Feeling the energy around for someone that truly meant a lot to this city was indescribable.

"This is a guy that I looked up to ever since I was a child ... He's had such a huge impact on my life and he will never be forgotten.

"Not only was he beloved here in Los Angeles, but his passing was felt globally. He will be missed."

The light towers surrounding Los Angeles International Airport were illuminated in purple and gold on Sunday, in homage to the colours of Bryant's Lakers jersey.

Airline pilot Kenneth Eisner, 37, filmed the pillars and told PA: "Kobe was my favourite NBA player. Los Angeles loves him and he will be missed."

Los Angeles City Hall was similarly lit up in the famous purple.

"Lights for a legend," tweeted LA Mayor Eric Garcetti.

The Lakers' local NBA rivals, the Los Angeles Clippers, were one of a number of teams to hold poignant shot clock violations – pausing for 24 seconds and eight seconds in-game as a nod to Bryant's shirt numbers.

A video shared hundreds of thousands of times on Twitter shows a dejected-looking fan sitting alone with his head bowed in an LA street, holding a Lakers basketball.

The caption to the viral footage reads: "Want to know what Kobe Bryant meant to LA? My neighbour who loves playing basketball has been out here like this for a good 20 minutes with his Lakers basketball."

The Lakers' usually-busy social media accounts have gone quiet since the news broke on Sunday.

However, on Instagram, Bryant's former Lakers teammate Shaquille O'Neal shared a photo of the final messages he sent to his friend.

"This first picture were messages from THIS MORNING," O'Neal posted.

"I wish I didn't sleep in so I could've talked to you ... I can't even think straight right now.

"I love you man ... thank you for everything you've done ... for this city, for the basketball world, and for me ... I won't let you down ... you always counted on me and lifted me up."

body check tags ::

Click here for more stories about Kobe Bryant

Click here for more stories about Los Angeles Lakers

Share this article now:
New Instagram promo
Kobe Bryant poses for a portrait inside of his office in Costa Mesa, California. Bryant, one of the greatest NBA players in history, is building an impressive resume in his post-basketball career, including winning an Academy Award
Read Next:
Kobe Bryant obituary: From high-school star to NBA great and Oscar winner
>
Read more about Kobe Bryant Basketball

rhs 2.0
Premier League
Championship
Six Nations
La Liga
Serie A
Bundesliga
Ligue 1
Eredivisie
Primeira Liga
Scottish Premiership
League One
League Two
National League
Scottish Championship
Scottish League One
Scottish League Two
Turkish Super Lig
Belgian Pro League
Greek Superleague
Swiss Super League
Ukrainian Premier League
NIFL Premiership
Welsh Premier League
Segunda Division
Serie B
2.Bundesliga
Ligue 2
Argentine Primera Division
Uruguayan Primera Division
Liga MX
Australian A-League
Gallagher Premiership
Super League

Subscribe to our Newsletter


Transfer Talk Daily
Match previews - twice weekly
Morning Briefing (7am UTC)
Ultra close-up image of Kevin De Bruyne [NOT FOR USE IN ARTICLES]Get the latest transfer news, match previews and news direct to your inbox!