Article Category: Current Issue | Obsequies | SC27 | The Present
Los Angeles Lakers fans pay their respects at a Staples Center memorial to NBA legend Kobe Bryant, who was killed in Los Angeles, California on January 31, 2020. Photo by MARK RALSTON/AFP via Getty Images

Kobe Bean Bryant | Obsequies

Posted Friday, Apr 03
Southern Calls, Vol. 23, March 2019

AUGUST 23, 1978 – JANUARY 26, 2020

Only two months ago the news shocked the world, Kobe Bryant had been killed in a helicopter crash… those headlines, the outpouring of grief and the images from memorials have now been thickly veiled by the coronavirus that has taken over the media and changed our lives in so many ways.

By taking a look back at this photo from very recent history, it’s nice to see the beauty of this gathering of fans paying their respects – the vibrant color and the mass of people there together as one – it feels so normal and real… until you look away and snap back to the realities of today.

We will gather together again, hopefully soon, after this crisis has passed. And, maybe the quarantine will give us all a new perspective and appreciation for simply being together to celebrate, life and death.

Bryant entered the NBA directly from high school, and played his entire 20-season professional career in the league with the Los Angeles Lakers. Bryant won five NBA championships, was an 18-time All-Star, 15-time member of the All-NBA Team, was named the 2008 NBA MVP, and was a two-time NBA Finals MVP winner. Widely regarded as one of the greatest players of all time, he led the NBA in scoring during two seasons, ranks fourth on the league’s all-time regular season scoring and all-time postseason scoring lists.

Bryant died at age 41 along with his 13-year-old daughter Gianna and seven others in a helicopter crash in Calabasas, California.

Los Angeles Lakers fans pay their respects at a Staples Center memorial to NBA legend Kobe Bryant, who was killed in Los Angeles, California on January 31, 2020.
Photo by MARK RALSTON/AFP via Getty Images

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