NBA Rumor: Gianna Bryant Death

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She said a family assistant knocked on the door about 11:30 a.m. that day, nearly two hours after the crash happened at about 9:45 a.m. “She told me that there was an accident and that there were five survivors,” Bryant testified in the deposition on Zoom from Newport Beach. “And I asked her if Gianna and Kobe were okay. And she said she wasn’t sure. She didn’t know.” She then tried calling her husband and her mother. “We got in the car,” she testified. “And I had to drive to my daughter Natalia’s ACT class. She was getting ready for her ACT prep. And I picked her up and I told her that Daddy and Gigi were in an accident. Not to worry. I’m sure they’re fine because there’s five survivors. And I’m sure Daddy and Gigi are fine. I just felt, I knew that they would be helping people.”

The county has said the photos taken from the crash scene were not publicly disseminated and not posted on the internet but has acknowledged that a trainee deputy showed a photo to a bartender. Miller asked Bryant how she suffered emotional distress from the showing of pictures to a bartender. “I have my husband’s and my daughter’s clothing in my possession,” she replied. “And I can say that they – they suffered a lot. And if their clothes represent the condition of their bodies, I cannot imagine how someone could be so callous and have no regard for them or our friends, and just share the images as if they were animals on a street. We’re not talking about – I really don’t want to get into details. I can only say that their clothing represents a lot.” “You keep that clothing in your house?” Miller asked. “I had to recover all their items because I know people are sick and would like to take pictures of them and share them,” Bryant replied. “So I wanted to make sure that I recovered everything that I possibly could.”

So, here’s how it breaks down. Island Express says in its answer, “Kobe Bryant and GB [Gigi] had actual knowledge of all of the circumstances, particular dangers, and an appreciation of the risks involved and the magnitude thereof, and proceeded to encounter a known risk, and voluntarily assumed the risk of the accident, injury … thereby barring or reducing [Vanessa’s] claim for damages.” Island Express never explains how a 13-year-old girl appreciates such risks, and while we’re on the subject, did anyone know helicopters are so dangerous that passengers who dare to board do so at their own peril? If that’s the case, how come Island Express didn’t have a big sign in front of the helicopter?

The family of Kobe Bryant visited a mural honoring the late NBA icon and his 13-year-old daughter, Gianna. The mural in Los Angeles depicts Bryant kissing Gianna on the head, with a halo hovering over them. Bryant and Gianna were among the nine people killed in a Jan. 26 helicopter crash in Calabasas, Calif. On Sunday, Bryant’s eldest daughter, 17-year-old Natalia, posed for a photo in front of the mural.

But, we noticed multiple listings had disappeared from eBay over the past 24 hours — so we reached out to eBay to find out what’s up. Turns out, eBay has a policy that prohibits sellers from profiting off of “human tragedy or suffering.” In fact, eBay sent an email to one seller explaining their position — “Please note, due to sudden and tragic passing of Kobe Bryant – eBay has made the decision to prohibit the sale of merchandise, images and mugs relating to their passing.” “We do not allow listings that attempt to profit from human tragedy or suffering.”

Sources familiar with Island Express tell TMZ, the company had liability insurance coverage totaling $50 million. Our sources say that’s not an unusual figure, but given the number of people Island Express transports on a single helicopter and the fact rich celebrities used the service … the number is low. Our sources say a more appropriate amount of coverage for the company would have been closer to $100 million. As we reported, Kylie Jenner — a 22-year-old billionaire — also recently took the same Island Express helicopter that crashed.

Bryant was not an active player like Munson when he died, but he remained as synonymous with the Lakers as anyone who had ever worn the purple and gold. I asked Jackson, still a special adviser to the Yankees, for any counsel he would offer if a current Laker were to ask him. “You can’t,” Jackson said. “There’s no giving advice on this. It’s too emotional, too personal. It’s with you every day in L.A.” Jackson would say only that it’s “very important” for a team soaked in sorrow “to have a leader there.” For his Yankees, it was Murcer. For the Lakers, the pillars have been Coach Frank Vogel, General Manager Rob Pelinka (Bryant’s former agent and Gianna Bryant’s godfather) and LeBron.

The complaint in Los Angeles County Superior Court against Island Express Helicopters and Island Express Holding Corp. alleged that pilot Ara Zobayan, who also died in the crash in Calabasas, failed “to use ordinary care in piloting the subject aircraft” and was “negligent.” “Defendant Island Express Helicopters’ breach of its duty and negligence caused the injuries and damages complained of herein and Plaintiffs’ deceased, Kobe Bryant, was killed as a direct result of the negligent conduct of Zobayan for which Defendant Island Express Helicopters is vicariously liable in all respects,” the lawsuit said.

The lawsuit accuses Zobayan, Bryant’s longtime pilot, of several acts of negligence including failing to abort the flight, failing to monitor and assess the weather, and failure to keep a safe distance between natural obstacles and the helicopter. “On information and belief, Defendant Island Express Helicopters employed Defendant Zobayan with conscious disregard of the rights or safety of others and authorized or ratified his wrong conduct, and itself engaged in conduct with malice, oppression, or fraud,” the complaint said.

Since his death at age 41, the nation has mourned the loss of the NBA Hall of Famer, who was an 18-time All-Star and 15-time member of the All-NBA Team. Bryant, Collins said, was one of his favorite professional basketball players. “I loved what he brought to the game,” he said. Collins, who has built customized designer caskets for roughly a decade over his 47 years, said social media led to what he called this humbling assignment. Through social networking, he said, a friend of Bryant’s family reached out to ask if Collins could create some type of memorial art to honor Kobe and the other victims.

“This is nothing people have ever seen. This is something I created,” Collins said from his work site off Collins Place on the edge of Elizabethtown. “And the whole vision behind it – I cannot take the pain away. I try to capture moments to bring back life, energy and the inspiration of the loved ones and their legacy.” The casket, which he said cost $13,000, was built over 3½ days. Donations helped cover the cost, and the names of those donors have been added to a picture of Bryant’s jersey that is meant to be part of the tribute memorial set.

Gigi started to gain more buzz when a Ballislife mixtape of her highlights dropped in May 2019. The video has over 10 million views on YouTube. “People were so happy,” says Cazzie Luz, who filmed the video. “They were like, ‘He has a daughter, and she can play?!” She was becoming ultra-competitive. Last summer, the Mambas were beating a team 50-0. With less than a minute to go, one of the Mambas fouled a player, sending her to the free-throw line. The girl made her first free throw and a Mamba player clapped. Gigi turned to her, gently hit her hand and said, “Don’t clap for them!”

She and Altobelli—her best friend on the team, the one she shared the most inside jokes with—were a terror at the top of the team’s 1-2-2 full-court press and 2-3 matchup zone. Kobe didn’t even tell them to trap, but Gigi, with her long arms, instinctually figured out that they should, and she began hounding girls. Last spring, she shut down a girl six inches taller than her. “She fought. She had this fire,” says Mike Alexander, CEO and president of Swoosh Basketball, who was at that game. Gigi rarely took breathers. “Even after the whistle blows, she’s still going, still keeping the play alive,” says Athena Tomlinson, 14, a friend and rival who was mentored by Kobe (he’d call her “Shifty Lefty”).

One game, against OC Rhythm, Gigi and an opponent dove for a loose ball. The girl fouled Gigi so hard she tumbled and hit the floor, nearly hitting her head. Kobe walked over, but Gigi bounced back up, heading back to the bench like nothing happened. Jimmy Valverde, a coach for OC Rhythm and the head girl’s basketball coach for Esperanza High, came up to Kobe after and said, “I hope she’s OK.” “Man,” Kobe said. “She’s a tough kid.”

On Monday morning, about 20,000 people — celebrities, athletes, family members, fans and friends — will fill Staples Center to honor Bryant and his 13-year-old daughter, Gianna, who were among nine people killed in a helicopter crash on Jan. 26 near Calabasas, Calif. The public memorial, called “A Celebration of Life for Kobe and Gianna Bryant,” is expected to run from about 10 a.m. to 12:30 p.m., Pacific time, Zeidman said, followed by several invitation-only receptions. An undisclosed number of tickets were sold to the general public through a lottery. Those who were unable to purchase tickets will not be permitted access to L.A. Live, the entertainment complex adjacent to Staples Center. Officials are discouraging people from trying to congregate near the arena.

Los Angeles will come to a stop Monday to publicly memorialize Kobe and Gianna Bryant at the Staples Center. When Vanessa Bryant announced the pubic service on Instagram earlier this month, she pointed out the symbolism in the date: 2/24/20. Two for the number Gianna, aka “Mambacita,” wore. Twenty-four for the number Kobe wore during the second half of his career. And twenty, for the years Kobe and Vanessa spent together. Kobe and Gianna were buried in a private ceremony on Feb. 7, according to records.

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 demand for tickets to the Feb. 24 memorial service celebrating the lives of Kobe and Gianna Bryant far exceeds the number of available seats. More than 90,000 people registered for tickets in the first 24 hours, a source with knowledge of the situation told Yahoo Sports on Saturday. Capacity at Staples Center is approximately 20,000, and many of those seats are expected to be reserved for Kobe’s friends and family, NBA luminaries and other invited guests.

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.”

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.”
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August 15, 2022 | 2:10 am EDT Update

Giannis Antetokounmpo doesn't rule out playing for the Bulls in the future

Fox 32 Chicago Sports: Giannis on playing for the #Bulls someday tonight on The Sports Zone on Fox 32 Chicago. @fox32news @foxkickoff @LouCanellis @CassieCarlsonTV @Giannis_An34

“I think anyone asked that question who plays basketball, if he said no, he’d be a liar. It’s a team that won multiple championships, a team with one of the greatest players, if not the greatest player to ever play this game. It’s a no-brainer, everybody would love to play for Chicago. Down the line, you never know. You never know how life brings it. Maybe I play for Chicago,” Antetokounmpo said. “But right now, I’m committed to Milwaukee.”

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