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Obama Pays Tribute to Basketball Legend Bryant

January 27, 2020

- Grant Whittington

Barack Obama has taken the time to acknowledge what a legend Kobe Bryant was, following the Basketball superstar’s tragic death. He said that the player was just beginning what looks likely to have been a very meaningful second act, after he retired from the game back in 2016.

The helicopter accident that claimed Bryant’s life occurred in Calabasas, California on Sunday the 26th of January, and there were a total of nine victims killed in the disaster. Bryant’s 13-year old daughter Gianna was on board, along with seven other people.

The 44th President of the United States of America made specific mention of the tragic loss of Gianna, who loved playing Basketball just like her dad. He said that this was particularly sad for him and his wife, former First Lady Michelle, as they are parents too.

Current President Donald Trump initially posted an acknowledgement of the sports legend’s passing, calling it terrible news, and later tweeted comments in the same vein.

A Tragic Accident

The group was travelling to the Mamba Sports Academy in Thousand Oaks in a private Sikorsky S-76 medium utility helicopter. This was a method of travel often utilised by Bryant, as it avoided the heavy L.A traffic. Bryant, his daughter and the other passengers in the helicopter were on their way for a practice session, no doubt intent on creating the next generation of players to thrill sports betting aficionados and those dedicated to the game.

The helicopter struck a hillside during heavy fog weather conditions and burst into flames instantly. Authorities have yet to announce a definitive reason for the accident, but the bad weather may have played a role. The crash location is also tough to access, so it may be a few days before full details are released, however the Los Angeles County Chief Medical Examiner Jonathan Lucas said they were doing all they can to complete the investigation and offer closure to the victim’s grieving families.

A Legend in His Own Time

Bryant was only 41-years old and had 20 Basketball seasons in the NBA under his belt, all with the Los Angeles Lakers. He retired in 2016, and is regarded by many as one of the greatest-ever players to grace the courts.

News of his untimely death has sent shockwaves across the globe, leaving sports betting fans, supporters, and friends reeling. Many have taken to social media networks like Obama did to post their own tributes honouring him. He was one of the rare sports stars who only needed a first name to be instantly recognised, and his death has shocked the sports world.

Obama’s Tweet was short but touching. He spoke of the blistering trail Bryant left across the Basketball court during his career and expressed his confidence that the next part of the player’s career was going to be as significant as the first. Obama addressed Bryant’s widow, Vanessa, directly in the message, sending her and her family love and prayers.

Trump Sends His Sympathy

Current US President Trump acknowledged the sports star’s death quite quickly, calling the news terrible, and then followed his first message up with more comments later on.

He called the Basketball player one of the greatest-ever, and said his life was just beginning off the court. He mentioned how much Bryant loved his family and spoke of his passion for the future. Trump said that Gianna also being lost in the crash makes this moment that much more of a tragedy and extended warmest condolences to surviving family members from Melania and himself. Bryant’s death will leave the Basketball world all the poorer, and although he had retired from the NBA, his unique brand of coaching and mentoring will be greatly missed.

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