Deaths Rumors

Pau Gasol talked about the tragic death of Kobe Bryant and looked back on being friends and teammates with the Lakers and NBA legend. “Once you slowly get over the void and the sadness and the pain you start looking at what he has left us. He was a guy who gave his best to whatever he did. He didn’t accept failure. He worked the hardest to be the best at what he did.
Storyline: Kobe Bryant Death
Pau Gasol: “You can see how now – after basketball, after his career – he was sharing all those values, all that knowledge to inspire the younger generations. To share the messages of ‘be the best that you can be’. ‘Dedicate yourself to your craft’.” If you are going to do something, do it to the best of your ability,” Gasol said about Bryant’s legacy in a video by the NBPA (National Basketball Players Association).
To keep the list short this time, the direct-elect categories that send one person each straight to the Hall – no finalist round for them – have been suspended. That includes the men’s and women’s veterans committees, the early African-American committee and the contributor committee. The exception this year is the international committee, which still will select a Hall of Famer to be announced with the actual Class of 2020 at the NCAA men’s Final Four April 4 in Atlanta. Said Colangelo: “Because of the enormity, even before Kobe’s death, we think Kobe and Duncan and Garnett bring to [this] … we’ve never had a class that strong at the top. And then with Kobe’s death, it added more focus.”
The upside of waiting? Not to get “lost in the shuffle,” as Colangelo described it. “Sad as it all is, we have to deal with that,” Colangelo said. “And life does go on in the world of basketball and the Hall of Fame. We don’t want to take away from the people here who are prospective inductees.” Asked if the 2020 ceremony in Springfield might be different as well from recent editions, the Hall chairman said: “Let’s put it this way: There’s a great sensitivity as a result, and so that leads to probably a little bit different than in the past. But it’s going to be done the right way.”
Storyline: Hall of Fame Selections
New Boston Red Sox outfielder Kevin Pillar, who grew up in the Los Angeles area as a Lakers and Kobe Bryant fan, was most impressed by Bryant’s post-basketball career and had hoped to emulate it when he was done playing baseball. Pillar said he hopes to write a children’s book about baseball like the one Bryant wrote about basketball, but he had been waiting until his career was over to approach Bryant about it. “That’s something that’s going to haunt me,” Pillar said.
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Pillar’s fandom went as far as to name his daughter “Kobie” after she was born in October 2017. He shared the story with the Toronto Sun in January 2018 of how he and his wife, Amanda, landed on the name. “My wife wouldn’t admit to naming her after Kobe Bryant,” Pillar told the newspaper, “but it was a name I grew up around and obviously I was a big Kobe Bryant fan, there’s no secret there. We wanted to name our daughter something with a K. We wanted her to be KP; that was the nickname I had growing up. We bounced around a bunch of different K names, and Kobe came out one day on a road trip and the name Kobie Rae came out and it was in our final two.
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“Two men who forever changed the NBA and the great game of basketball globally in ways only legends could,” Wilbon said. “So let’s take these next few moments to celebrate and show gratitude for their contributions to this game we all love,” Smith added. “They will forever be missed, but certainly never forgotten,” Wilbon said. “Thank you, David and Kobe.” Chants of “Kobe, Kobe, Kobe” then showered the arena as the clock counted down.
Storyline: David Stern Death