2020 NBA All-Star Weekend: Remembering Kobe and Gianna Bryant

All the ways the late icon and his daughter are being honored in Chicago.

Kenny "The Jet" Smith on Healing From Kobe Bryant's Loss

February 15, 2020 — “It was tragic when we first heard and then when we started to hear more in detail, it became horrific with all the children and families involved. I think overall you need a support group of healing. I don't think you can do that alone. And you don't want to do that alone. I don't think he [Kobe] went alone. So I think that you need a community of people that's like minded that aspire to help you get through those tragedies. That's how I help myself. That’s how I helped myself win championships. It’s the same thought process.” —Reporting by Angela Wilson


Magic Johnson on Kobe Bryant's Legacy as a Father 

February 14, 2020 — During McDonald’s "Black & Positively Golden Campaign" event, special guest Earvin “Magic” Johnson, was on hand to help celebrate one of basketball’s biggest weekends by helping fans, students, and athletes learn how to channel their dreams into reality beyond the court through empowerment, entrepreneurship, and education. When asked how Kobe Bryant displayed this vision, Johnson said:

"There will never, ever be another Kobe. What he meant to his family as a husband and a father, a man, and to see him take time with his babies like he did. Black men don't often get the credit when we are good fathers. Kobe was an excellent father, and loved his wife, and we already know what he meant as a basketball player."—Reporting by Angela Wilson


Rick Ross on Kobe Bryant's Legacy

February 13, 2020 — "When you lose somebody like Kobe, I'm sure you see a lot of people with tears running down their neck, but with me, I've just had to take some time, sit back and reflect. We all know that time can't be taken for granted. We all know the value that that brother held within our community. I know people who really broke down. You got to take time! We have to be there for his family, but we should celebrate the homie's legacy and that's what we're going to do."—Reporting by Angela Wilson


World famous artist and painter, Zoe Black created a masterpiece in honor of Kobe and Gianna. We caught up with him during All Star Weekend at That Game Social, where he unveiled the heartfelt painting. We asked what inspired his latest piece of art, he says, “His loss caught me off guard. I simply wanted to highlight how colorful he was/is to society. Had to basically tap into a mamba mentality to do the piece. It was a difficult one to do like nipsey Hussle piece I did. And to hear that lil Gigi was in that tragedy made it just that more realer because I’m a dad.” 

(Photo: Jonathan Carmelli)

Jonathan Carmelli

(Photo: Jonathan Carmelli)

Steven A. Smith On Coping With Tragic Loss of Kobe Bryant

February 13, 2020 — "Kobe Bryant was a friend of mine, not just somebody who I covered. I knew him for over 20 years and we were pretty close and it was devastating to see him gone, but you're also talking to somebody who lost both his parents within the last two years. 

My mother died Game 1 of the NBA Finals in 2017 and my father died a year later. So, I've been dealing with a lot of loss over the last few years and again it's devastating to see Kobe Bryant gone. I'm going to mourn his loss for a very long time, but I was mourning losses before him and I'm going to continue to do that by putting my head down and doing what you got to do.

At the end of the day, nobody wants to hear your excuses, nobody wants to hear about your troubles. Everybody's got their own troubles; you love the people that you love and if you believe in a higher power and believe in God like I do, then you believe these people are in a better place and they're not suffering.

There's someplace better than here and all you can do is hold on to that because it's the only thing that qualifies as any kind of explanation. What else can explain how a 40 year old, as brilliant and accomplished as he was, is now gone along with a 13-year old girl and seven other people including other children who had their whole lives ahead of them.How else can you explain it?" —Reporting by Angela Wilson

Rick Fox Speaks Out About Losing Kobe Bryant

Rick Fox is still reflecting on Kobe Bryant's death. The 50-year-old retired Laker was in attendance at the NBA Crossover event during All-Star Weekend in Chicago, and when asked about how Bryant's passing impacted him by TMZ, he got candid.

“Being present. Nothing like tragedy can stop you in your tracks," he said. "That was a big blow to me personally, it was a big blow to a lot of people…I got to watch how it impacted the world. That’s a tribute to his legacy."

Subsequently, he was asked about what Kobe would have done had he been able to live a full life: “I guess probably the thing that gets me most emotional. It would have been tenfold… the world’s going to miss that because of the impact he was going to leave. It was going to be greater than his NBA career. And his NBA career is pretty darn good,” he said.

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