Kobe Gone: Lincoln Students React To A Legend’s Death

Sunday, January 26 of 2020, after the numerous tragedies that have already happened from the beginning of the new decade, a new one has been added. Kobe Bryant, the basketball’s legend, died on Sunday. Between sadness and incomprehension, the world is asking: "What really happened?"

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Kobe Bryant died last Sunday in a helicopter crash. Illustration of Kobe Bryant and one of his quotes: “Heroes come and go but Legends are forever” (Tabatha Menten/Lincoln Lion Tales)

What do we know?

 Social media went wild on Sunday morning: Kobe Bryant died in a helicopter crash. We didn’t know much at the time, but people were already paying homage to the basketball superstar. A few moments later, the tragedy is getting bigger when we found out that Gianna, Kobe Bryant’s daughter was also on the helicopter. Gianna is the second daughter of Bryant, she was born on May 2006 and was only 13 years old. 

Updates were still ongoing as investigators progress to find what really happened. 

We now know that the helicopter has received approval to fly on Sunday morning, even if the weather was pretty bad. The helicopter was flying through Orange County, and circling near Burbank where the pilot waited for clearance to keep going. When the pilot received it, he made the decision to keep going and that decision was in the center of the investigation. Indeed, flying through the hills of Calabasas on a foggy morning is questionable. Added to that is the fact that the pilot didn’t receive a “blanket clearance” to fly over Calabasas. He should also have used instrument rules, those rules would have required another F.A.A clearance. Transitioning to those rules would have allowed the pilot to keep flying but he would also have had to gain altitude to be visible by controllers. 

The cause of the crash appears like a pilot error. The question is: “Was it only a human error or was it something else?” We can say now that it was “only” a human error.

If you don’t know Kobe Bryant…

Kobe Bryant was 41 years old, retired as a basketball player after a 20 years old career. Bryant played in the Los Angeles Lakers for the NBA. Bryant was an 18-time All-Star, a 15-time member of the All-NBA Team, 12-time member of the All-Defensive Team and the 2008 NBA Most Valuable Player. For a lot, Kobe Bryant was one of the best basketball player ever seen. Bryant get married in 2001 with Vanessa Laine. Natalia, Bryan’s first daughter was born in January 2003, the second daughter Gianna (who also died in the helicopter crash) was born on May 2006. On December 2016 and January 2019, Bryant and Vanessa had their third and fourth daughter. 

Who are the other victims? 

Unfortunately, Bryant and her daughter are not the only victims of the helicopter crash.

Two other families were presents on the helicopter. John Altobelli, Keri Altobelli and their daughter Alyssa who was playing on the same club that Gianna are the three other victims of the crash. They are leaving behind them, their two other sons. Sarah Chester and her daughter, also playing with Gianna and Alyssa, deceased too. The last two victims are Ara Zobayan, the pilot, and Christina Mauser, the assistant coach. 

What Were the Reactions of Lincoln Students

Jesse James Miranda, a junior, said that Kobe was inspirational. “The most gorgeous thing about him was that when he failed, he would try harder. I remember his last game: he drops 60 points, that was crazy!” explained Jesse. 

Kyra Small, a senior and basketball player for our varsity team said: “Kobe was a little bit like a friend for me, losing someone you know for so long was very sad. We always say Kobe with my team when we score.”

“He was an icon, a figure I was looking at as a kid.” said Daniel Cuevas, a senior, “He never gets up during a game and he was working harder than the others.”

Lincoln Lion Tales is sending his thoughts and prayers to the families of this tragedy.