Storyline: Gianna Bryant Death

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The sudden and tragic death of NBA legend Kobe Bryant, his daughter Gianna, and seven others, who all perished in a horrific helicopter crash on January 26, 2020, loomed over the event as a whole. Bryant was honored with a heartwarming video tribute during the event, and his former teammates Robert Horry and Derek Fisher, who Bryant played 20 seasons combined with, took the stage to tell their favorite stories and memories of their friend. Bryant was named the L.A. Sports Awards Sportsman of the Year recipient in 2008.

The plans for Kobe and Gigi Bryant’s Staples Center memorial are getting locked down and details for the service will be unveiled today. Sources familiar with the planning tell us event organizers are working closely with Kobe’s family to finalize who will speak at the service, and which singers and entertainers will take part. We’re told tickets will be available to the general public, although there will be a number of invited guests who get tickets first, including family, friends, players, NBA officials and, we’re told, season ticket holders.

NBA legend Kobe Bryant and his 13-year-old daughter, Gianna, were buried Friday at a Southern California cemetery following their deaths January 26 in a helicopter crash, death certificates released Tuesday by Los Angeles County officials show. Their resting place is Pacific View Memorial Park in Corona Del Mar, California, the documents state. The cemetery is about two miles from the Pacific Ocean and less than a 10-minute drive from the family’s church, Our Lady Queen of Angels, in Newport Beach. No details about a graveside service were released.

The memorial for Kobe and Gigi Bryant will be attended by friends, family, NBA officials and players, season ticket holders and local politicians. The remaining seats will be ticketed and go to members of the public on a first-come, first-served basis. As we reported, the memorial will be held at Staples Center on February 24th, where seating capacity stands at around 20,000. Fact is … hundreds of thousands of people would like to honor Kobe and Gigi, but there’s no way all of them can be accommodated.

Vanessa Bryant: I’ve been reluctant to put my feelings into words. My brain refuses to accept that both Kobe and Gigi are gone. I can’t process both at the same time. It’s like I’m trying to process Kobe being gone but my body refuses to accept my Gigi will never come back to me. It feels wrong. Why should I be able to wake up another day when my baby girl isn’t being able to have that opportunity?! I’m so mad. She had so much life to live. Then I realize I need to be strong and be here for my 3 daughters. Mad I’m not with Kobe and Gigi but thankful I’m here with Natalia, Bianka and Capri. I know what I’m feeling is normal. It’s part of the grieving process. I just wanted to share in case there’s anyone out there that’s experienced a loss like this. God I wish they were here and this nightmare would be over. Praying for all of the victims of this horrible tragedy. Please continue to pray for all.

Wreckage from the helicopter that crashed last month and killed Lakers legend Kobe Bryant, his daughter and seven others did not show any outward evidence of engine failure, the National Transportation Safety Board said Friday. Bryant, his 13-year-old daughter Gianna, and the others died in the Jan. 26 crash in Calabasas, California. The group was flying to a girls basketball tournament at his Mamba Sports Academy. Gianna’s team was coached by Bryant and was playing in the tournament.

“So Kobe was a guy that looked up to me and we’ve hung out multiple times,” Jay-Z responded. “He was last in my house on New Year’s and he was just in the greatest space I’ve seen him in and one of the last things he said to me was, ‘You’ve gotta see Gianna play basketball,'” Jay-Z said. The rapper continued: “That was one of the most hurtful things because he was so proud. The look on his face…I looked at him and said, ‘Oh she’s going to be the best female basketball player in the world.’ He was just so proud of what he said. That was a tough one. My wife and I are taking that really tough.”

Why No. 2 and not the No. 24 for his former Olympic teammate, contemporary competitor and the man he is tasked with taking the torch from as the next great superstar for the Lakers? “Zhuri,” James said. Zhuri Nova is James’ 5-year-old daughter. Before James changed his Instagram profile picture to a photograph of Bryant holding Gianna in his arms after the Lakers’ championship win in Orlando, Florida, in 2009, James’ profile pic was a photo of Zhuri with a big smile.

NBC Sports Chicago: You also announced plans for Team LeBron (James) to wear No. 2 and Team Giannis (Antetokounmpo) to wear No. 24 to honor Gianna and Kobe Bryant’s numbers, as well as jersey patches with nine stars to honor all victims. Some had suggested having one team wear Kobe’s No. 8 and the other wear Kobe’s No. 24. But this gesture had to touch all families involved, as well as current players? Adam Silver: It’s celebratory but emotional. This is what makes these great athletes such special people too. I think what we forget sometimes as fans is that this is a very public mourning period.

NBC Sports Chicago: What have you seen from the NBA community from David’s passing to Kobe’s, which is hard for anybody to wrap their mind around? Adam Silver: It’s a reminder of how strong this family is. From team owners, former team owners, players, former players, executives at the league and teams and even alumni, it feels like a family organization. During difficult times, a family comes together. I’ve been really moved this week by the outpouring of support for not just Kobe’s family but the families of the other victims of that helicopter crash. I’ve been moved by the players’ desire to memorialize Kobe and his daughter at the All-Star game and the events that are now coming together — and also by those who want to make sure that we recognize David Stern at an otherwise celebratory occasion like All-Star weekend.

NBC Sports Chicago: You cited the celebratory nature of All-Star weekend. How do you as commissioner and as a league try to strike the proper balance between that while also honoring the legacies of Stern and Bryant? Adam Silver: By remaining authentic and not trying to force anything. By putting in place the platform both for memorializing but also celebrating and letting these events play out in their own way. That’s what I’ve learned over many years here. You don’t want to try to overproduce these events. I have no doubt that there will be spontaneous moments. I think some things we are planning may fall flat or not have the desired impact. But other small moments that we would’ve never anticipated would have the consequences they do will invariably end up being the most memorable moments of the weekend.

All-Star uniforms to honor Kobe and Gianna

The NBA, NBPA and Nike announced today that the 2020 NBA All-Star uniforms will pay tribute to the late Kobe Bryant, his daughter Gianna and their seven friends and teammates who tragically passed away in last Sunday’s helicopter accident. The 2020 NBA All-Star Game will feature Team LeBron (James) wearing the No. 2 and Team Giannis (Antetokounmpo) wearing the No. 24 – Gianna and Kobe’s basketball jersey numbers, respectively.

After flying in after their loss in Oklahoma City on Wednesday, the Sacramento Kings didn’t get settled in L.A. until 2 a.m. on Thursday, so that’s when Luke Walton visited the larger-than-life shrine that has grown in memory of Kobe and Gianna Bryant outside Staples Center at L.A. Live. “It was emotional,” said Walton, the Kings coach who played with Kobe for nine seasons and won two NBA titles with him on the Lakers. “There were people at 2 in the morning … they were chanting. There was a group of people chanting ‘Kooo-beeee.’ Two in the morning. And you’re looking around and, again, seeing how many people he touched, and the flowers and the candles and the messages and the handwritten notes. It was an emotional setting.”


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My girls and I want to thank the millions of people who’ve shown support and love during this horrific time. Thank you for all the prayers. We definitely need them. We are completely devastated by the sudden loss of my adoring husband, Kobe — the amazing father of our children; and my beautiful, sweet Gianna — a loving, thoughtful, and wonderful daughter, and amazing sister to Natalia, Bianka, and Capri. We are also devastated for the families who lost their loved ones on Sunday, and we share in their grief intimately. There aren’t enough words to describe our pain right now. I take comfort in knowing that Kobe and Gigi both knew that they were so deeply loved. We were so incredibly blessed to have them in our lives. I wish they were here with us forever. They were our beautiful blessings taken from us too soon. I’m not sure what our lives hold beyond today, and it’s impossible to imagine life without them. But we wake up each day, trying to keep pushing because Kobe, and our baby girl, Gigi, are shining on us to light the way. Our love for them is endless — and that’s to say, immeasurable. I just wish I could hug them, kiss them and bless them. Have them here with us, forever. Thank you for sharing your joy, your grief and your support with us. We ask that you grant us the respect and privacy we will need to navigate this new reality. To honor our Team Mamba family, the Mamba Sports Foundation has set up the MambaOnThree Fund to help support the other families affected by this tragedy. To donate, please go to MambaOnThree.org. To further Kobe and Gianna’s legacy in youth sports, please visit MambaSportsFoundation.org. Thank you so much for lifting us up in your prayers, and for loving Kobe, Gigi, Natalia, Bianka, Capri and me. #Mamba #Mambacita #GirlsDad #DaddysGirls #Family ❤️

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When the trio huddled at that Dec. 29 game at Staples, Gianna excitedly told the story of how she “did the Shammgod on this girl” in a recent game. “She was so locked in,” Shammgod said. “Her mind-set was just like his mind-set.” That was evident in a 2019 glimpse of Gianna on camera with the Las Vegas CBS affiliate during a trip to watch that season’s opener for the W.N.B.A.’s Las Vegas Aces. Explaining her fascination with film study, Gigi could not have sounded much more like her father when she said, “More information, more inspiration.”

The bodies of Kobe Bryant, his 13-year-old daughter and seven others who died in a helicopter crash have been recovered from a Calabasas hillside, coroner officials said Tuesday. Authorities on Sunday removed the bodies of at least three victims from the wreckage. Remains of the six remaining victims were located Monday, and their bodies have been taken to the Los Angeles County coroner’s forensic science center, where officials will work to identify them.

In heavy fog and with no radio connection to the controller, likely blocked by the mountains in low altitude, the helicopter crashed into a hillside in Calabasas, California. “This was totally avoidable, and on the part of some people I can go as far as to say irresponsible,’’ said Robert Ditchey, a longtime airplane pilot, aeronautical engineer and former airline executive who lives in Los Angeles. “Here’s one of the most important people in the world who comes to a tragic end like this and you say, ‘Why? What the hell happened?’

“They’re in the fog, and you’re down hugging the ground trying to fly up the highway and barely able to see it,’’ Ditchey said. “He’s down only 100 feet or so above the ground. In that area of the San Fernando Valley you have mountains on either side of you … and the clouds have obscured them, and you don’t have that much room to maneuver.’’ Los Angeles County Sheriff Alex Villanueva said the precise conditions when the crash occurred are still under investigation, but he acknowledged there was “an issue with visibility and a low ceiling’’ on Sunday.

Los Angeles Sparks forward Nneka Ogwumike, the 2016 MVP and WNBA champion, said Gigi was “symbolic of his legacy, and also the future of women’s basketball.” Gigi had become a big fan of 11-time national champion UConn, and she went to Huskies games with her father, including UConn’s senior day in 2019 for Samuelson and Napheesa Collier. Samuelson said Bryant sent her a text after that game. “He recorded me walking out with my dad,” Samuelson said. “He said he had to get that moment, because he knew he’d be a wreck if it was him.”

Seattle Storm guard Sue Bird sat next to Bryant and Gigi at the WNBA All-Star Game last July in Las Vegas. The four-time Olympic gold medalist — at the game with girlfriend and U.S. soccer star Megan Rapinoe — was sidelined with a knee injury. They got a chance to chat with Bryant and Gigi while watching many of the best women’s basketball players in the world. “He just really wanted to expose Gigi to as much greatness as he could,” Bird said. “He wanted her to meet Megan, to meet me. I know he’s taken his whole family to Megan’s soccer games. He’s been very present in the WNBA. He was going on this journey with his daughter, and I think we could all feel that it was going somewhere special. For him as a father, for her as a future basketball player, for them in that father-daughter relationship.”

However, Terry has also taken on a prominent role in coaching youth girls basketball and his daughters. He spoke on the broadcast about the impact Gianna Bryant had on them. “[Gianna] was a walking image [of Kobe Bryant]. I watched her shoot one of her last 3-point shots, it was right in front of me and it was the same body mannerisms. She had it, she embodied it and she was the same competitor,” Terry said. “It was funny. Before I came to work today, my youngest is in the driveway shooting baskets. My second-youngest now tells me she’s gonna now play basketball. And that’s because of GiGi. They don’t know Kobe. They know GiGi.”

Kobe Bryant had already made plans for his daughter, Gianna — AKA GiGi — to follow in his legendary footsteps by filing to trademark her very own hoops nickname. TMZ Sports obtained the paperwork Kobe filed for “Mambacita” on Dec. 30, 2019. Of course, the name is both a tip of the hat to GiGi’s father — the Black Mamba — and also to her own growing prowess on the hardcourt. According to the docs … the plan was to put “Mambacita” on all sorts of sportswear — shirts, shorts, hats, jerseys, sweatpants, sweatshirts and hoodies.

Saturday was the final time Young spoke to Kobe and Gianna. A source told The Athletic prior to the Hawks’ game against the Washington Wizards on Sunday night that Kobe and Gianna FaceTimed with Young on Saturday to congratulate him for being named a starter in the All-Star Game. Young didn’t want to divulge all of the details of their conversation but did confirm that he spoke with the father-daughter duo the day before they tragically died, alongside seven others, in a helicopter crash in Calabasas, Calif., according to the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department.

“One of the last conversations we had, man, he was just telling me how he’s seen my game progress,” Young said before he paused for eight seconds as he choked up. “He was just happy for me. He was saying how proud he was of me and how he wants to continue seeing me be a role model for kids growing up and just for Gigi and all of the kids looking up to me and continue to inspire these kids and continue to play my heart out. That was one of the last things he said to me.”

Gianna told Young how much she loved watching him play and how big of a fan she was of the Hawks’ point guard. Young told her he made it a point to watch her highlights on YouTube and Twitter. She admired Young so much that she wanted to train how he trains. It didn’t matter that her father was one of the best basketball players of all time; she wanted to be like Young. So, Gianna started training with Alex Bazzell, Young’s trainer during the offseason, in addition to her lessons from dad. Young went to one of Bryant’s camps while he was in high school. But Young’s relationship with Kobe only started blossoming in the past two years as Gianna started idolizing Young.

As Gigi grew into a young teenager, her love for basketball transcended watching her dad. She began playing competitive ball year-round, with her father helping to coach her team. During an interview on Jimmy Kimmel’s television show recently, Kobe said of Gigi that she “for sure” wanted to play in the WNBA someday. “The best thing that happens is when we go out and she’ll be standing next to me and fans will come up to me like ‘Hey, you gotta have a boy, you and (Vanessa) gotta have a boy — somebody to carry on the legacy and the tradition’ and (Gigi) will be like ‘Oy, I got this. We don’t need a boy for that. I got this!’”

Charlotte Hornets President of Basketball Operations & General Manager Mitch Kupchak released the following statement on the passing of Kobe Bryant and his daughter, Gianna: “I’m deeply saddened and shocked by today’s tragic news of the passing of Kobe Bryant and his daughter, Gianna. I had the privilege of witnessing up close, from start to finish, Kobe’s remarkable 20-year NBA career with the Los Angeles Lakers. His accomplishments were truly extraordinary – a five-time NBA champion, two-time NBA Finals MVP, two-time Olympic gold medalist and NBA MVP – and he will be remembered as one of the game’s all-time greats.”
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Cynthia “Cynt” Marshall was the first black cheerleader at the University of California, Berkeley in the late 1970s. She spent nearly four decades climbing the corporate ladder at AT&T. And today she is the first black, female CEO in the NBA, having taken the helm at the Dallas Mavericks in 2018 to clean up the league’s toxic work culture. But Marshall, 60, says she didn’t truly come into her own until more than 20 years into her career. “I just did my job and did what [my bosses] told me to do,” Marshall tells CNBC Make It.
Marshall started as the first African-American female to ever lead an NBA basketball team in February of 2018. She says she wanted to take the job “for the sisterhood.” Since taking the helm, Marshall has been focused on hiring a diverse executive team. There were no women or people of color on the Mavericks’ leadership team when Marshall started. Today, 50% are women and 47% are people of color, according to a Mavericks spokesperson.
She also brought her authentic leadership style to the Mavericks. When she started there, the first thing she did was hold one-on-ones with employees. She wanted to learn about their lives, from childhood to adulthood, not just about their career aspirations. “I [just] had a one-on-one with one of the vice presidents last night for two hours and probably an hour and a half of that was just personal talk,” Marshall tells Make It on Jan. 30. These days, Marshall says she tries to think of “the person first and the employee second” when making important decisions at the company.
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Wade definitely wasn’t born into money, growing up in the rough and tumble streets of Chicago. His parents split early on in his childhood — and Wade’s documentary sheds light on his mom’s troubles with drug addiction and father’s battle with alcohol. By the age of 16, Wade moved out of his father’s house and struck out on his own. His impressive skills on the court in high school brought him to Marquette for college. In 2003, Wade was drafted number five in the NBA draft by the Miami Heat. By the time of his final game in April 2019, Wade was a three-time champion with a ton of money in the bank. “I’m always about I don’t want to not be comfortable from the standpoint of what’s in my bank account. So let me not buy this,” says Wade.
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NBA Hall of Famer and current Clippers advisor, Jerry West, accepted the award on their behalf and made sure to thank the team’s newest superstars, Kawhi Leonard and Paul George before exiting the stage. “Those guys make our job easier,” said West of Leonard and Paul. “We’ve got a team that’s very representative of one of the best teams in the NBA, and we’re very hopeful that it will be a great end to our season this year.”
The sudden and tragic death of NBA legend Kobe Bryant, his daughter Gianna, and seven others, who all perished in a horrific helicopter crash on January 26, 2020, loomed over the event as a whole. Bryant was honored with a heartwarming video tribute during the event, and his former teammates Robert Horry and Derek Fisher, who Bryant played 20 seasons combined with, took the stage to tell their favorite stories and memories of their friend. Bryant was named the L.A. Sports Awards Sportsman of the Year recipient in 2008.
Storyline: Gianna Bryant Death
Things weren’t much better away from basketball. Nance had no energy. All he wanted to do was sleep. When he was awake, Nance battled stomach cramps and constantly found himself making trips to the bathroom. No matter how hard he tried, he couldn’t gain weight. His family knew something was up and took Nance to the Cleveland Clinic. It was there that Nance was diagnosed with Crohn’s disease — an inflammatory bowel disease that affects the digestive tract. The disease has no cure, but can go into remission with proper treatment. Over 3.1 million people in the United States have been diagnosed with IBD.
As he received treatment, Nance’s life improved both on and off the court. He played well enough to be selected by the Los Angeles Lakers in the first round of the 2015 NBA draft. Two and a half seasons later, Nance was traded to the Cleveland Cavaliers. He was back in his hometown — the same place he decided he wasn’t going to quit. “I’m just thankful I didn’t, obviously,” Nance told Yahoo Sports.
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For whatever reason, Indianapolis is a popular place to trash when a big event comes to town. Yahoo! Sports NBA’s LaJethro Jenkins became the most recent critic. A video was posted Thursday night by Jenkins with a plea to NBA commissioner Adam Silver to move the 2021 All-Star game along with a petition to relocate the game. Yahoo deleted the tweet, which included an expletive, a couple of hours later. The petition included the words: “It’s just a joke. The NBA couldn’t care less. Relax.” The petition has 16 signatures.
Hoosiers took matters into their own hands by creating a petition of their own requesting Jenkins and Yahoo Sports NBA be kept from attending the 2021 NBA All-Star game in Indianapolis. The petition, which has 196 signatures, asks the NBA to revoke their credentials and offers a parting shot of its own. “And if this triggers you, relax Mr. Jenkins & YahooSportsNBA. It’s just a joke”
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There has been speculation for a possible increase in the buyout clauses of Campazzo’s contract after the Copa del Rey, something that his manager, Claudio Villanueva denied on Clarín. “It is by no means true that the club has increased the exit clause by the number being said. Nothing has changed”, Campazzo’s manager mentioned. According to Clarín, the exit clause in the Argentinean’s contact is estimated between 6 and 8 million dollars. That being said, the door to the NBA can still remain open for the 28-year-old guard.
“Once things slow down, after the Olympics, I have a decision to make,” he said. “It’s just being smart and that’s why the decision about going back to the NBA will be part of it. I want to be healthy for Tokyo.” Bogut made his return to the court after three games off with the Kings, resting his back ahead of the finals. The Kings, who led the table for the entire season, are the favourites to take out the league.