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Israelis pay tribute to Kobe Bryant after NBA legend dies in helicopter crash

Former NBA star Kobe Bryant died in a helicopter crash, along with his daughter and seven others, on Jan. 26, 2020. Photo courtesy of Wikimedia Commons.

(JNS) – Following the news that famed NBA player Kobe Bryant died on Sunday in a helicopter crash in California, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu tweeted that the 41-year-old was “one of the greatest basketball players in history,” and called his death “a sad day for all sports fans in the world.”

The Israeli foreign minister also sent condolences “to his family and the NBA family.”

Bryant, his 13-year-old daughter Gianna and seven other passengers on board all died when the helicopter crashed in a hilly terrain just outside Calabasas, Calif., sparking a brush fire.

The cause of the crash remains unknown, though weather was likely a contributing factor since fog in the area was so bad that the Los Angeles Police Department grounded its helicopter fleet on Sunday morning, the Los Angeles Times and CNN have reported.

Israeli basketball fans paid tribute to the late NBA player on Sunday night jan, 26, during a Maccabi Tel Aviv vs. Hapoel Tel Aviv match when they stood up and in unison chanted “Kobe Bryant.”

Israeli NBA star Omri Casspi tweeted that he was “speechless,” while former NBA player Amar’e Stoudamire, who now plays in Tel Aviv, said he was “shocked.”

“I’m shocked, bro. I don’t know what to say. I don’t even want to believe it.”

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1 Comment

  1. Demfy February 12, 2020 Reply

    I was at home when I heard the news, around 8pm GMT. I’d just sat down on the sofa for a rest and opened the Instagram app to see a photo of Kobe Bryant and something like ‘RIP to the greatest’ from another NBA player. I was a bit confused, but didn’t want to make any assumptions to opened BBC News where the headline was ‘NBA Legend Kobe Bryant dies in helicopter crash’.

    It’s the first time in my life that I’ve been saddened to the brink of tears on hearing of the death of somebody I never met.

    When I was younger a family friend got me into basketball. It’s not that big in the UK. At the time Michael Jordan was at his prime and I loved watching Michael play. Then I remember seeing a young kid – who probably looked the same age as me at the time, ~13 – playing for the LA Lakers and that was it, from that moment on I was a Lakers and Kobe fan.

    Since my mid-teens he’s been my idol. He was the greatest player ever to me, and really seems to be a good guy away from the game too.

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