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THERE was shock at an untimely death and then there was the stunning silence that came over people as news that Kobe Bryant and his 13-year old daughter died yesterday in a helicopter crash began to spread across the tightknit basketball world and beyond.
Athletes and fans wore stunned looks of shock as the death of someone who was larger than life in sports and culture began to register yesterday afternoon.
“Most people will remember Kobe as the magnificent athlete who inspired a whole generation of basketball players,” tweeted Kareem Abdul-Jabbar, another Los Angeles Lakers legend. “But I will always remember him as a man who was much more than an athlete.”
Like so many of the greats – Magic, Tiger, MJ – the world knew him by one name. Kobe – or “Mamba” to many – was familiar, which made the loss personal to some. Compounding the tragedy was the loss of 13-year-old daughter, Gianna.
While he explored a variety of ventures in his retirement from the game, she kept him close to the sport, and the father and daughter were reportedly en route to one of her games when the helicopter crashed.
“Kobe was a legend on the court and just getting started in what would have been just as meaningful a second act,” former President Barack Obama tweeted.
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