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Kobe Bryant honored by celebrities, dignitaries on anniversary of death

Kobe Bryant honored by celebrities, dignitaries on anniversary of death
Kobe Bryant (Photo credit: Bang Media)

Tens of millions of sports fans remember where they were when all-time great NBA megastar Kobe Bryant passed away on Jan. 26, 2020.

The country shuddered in unison when the magnetic Black Mamba, 41, and his daughter Gianna “Gigi” Bryant, 13, were lost to us after the helicopter they were riding in with seven others crashed into the mountains in Calabasas, California. The tragedy occurred literally just down the street from where his legend took root and sprouted to unprecedented heights.

One year later, Bryant’s widow Vanessa and a multitude of admirers are pausing to commemorate the man, the father, the player and the only person to ever win NBA championships and an Academy Award.

The tribute starts, of course, at the basketball cathedral where the Black Mamba tattooed his legacy into the souls of Angelenos, the Staples Center.

Speaking of the Oscars … due to how Bryant mocked Fox News’ Laura Ingraham for telling star players to “shut up and dribble” during his acceptance speech, former ESPN reporter Jemele Hill believes the Los Angeles Lakers icon would have involved himself in what transpired during the rest of 2020.

Comedian Jimmy Fallon sobbed this time last year when, during the monologue of his late-night show, he regaled the audience of how he and Bryant met each other at a party before both became household names.

And the tributes continue to pour in from the entire spectrum of pop culture, from rapper-director Ice Cube to boxing icon Manny “Pac Man” Pacquiao, Oscar-winner Viola Davis, Justin Timberlake and Earvin “Magic” Johnson.

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