It’s still too hard to believe that we really lost one of the greats earlier today when Kobe Bryant’s helicopter crashed in Calabasas, California, killing him and eight others — including his daughter, Gianna.
What makes this even that much harder to fathom is the fact that it comes less than 24 hours after Kobe was making headlines for other reasons, as LeBron James had just passed him on the NBA all-time scoring list during Saturday’s game against the 76ers.
LeBron recognized that passing Bryant in total points was a tremendous achievement, and he decided to honor the occasion and Kobe’s greatness by writing a special message to the Mamba on his sneakers for the game.
LeBron obviously never realized just how significant a statement like “Mamba 4 Life” would be just hours later.
LeBron even spoke about how much of an inspiration Kobe was to him on Saturday.
Like pretty much everyone else, LeBron was heartbroken over the news. He and the rest of the Lakers found out about Kobe’s passing on their flight back from Philly. Cameras captured an emotional LeBron being consoled and wiping away tears after the plane arrived back in Los Angeles.
LeBron and the rest of the sports world will continue to mourn this difficult loss for some time. This was a tough one for everyone. Thoughts and prayers to the families and friend of all those involved in this tragedy.