NBA: Second career act for Kobe Bryant ends all too soon

Kobe Bryant, an 18-time All-Star, won five championships with the Los Angeles Lakers.

By Steve Aschburner /

LOS ANGELES — As the shock passed and the horror ebbed, the sad, natural reaction Sunday was to mourn for Los Angeles Lakers legend Kobe Bryant and his 13-year-old daughter Gianna, who perished among the nine passengers aboard a helicopter that crashed that morning in Calabasas, Calif.

There was another layer to this gut-wrenching tragedy, though.

Our hearts break not just for the person and player Bryant was, but for the man, the role model and the creative force he already had become and likely would have remained, maybe reinventing himself over the next three or four decades.

Bryant, at 41 and just three years removed from his dazzling, 20-year NBA career, was nailing one of the most difficult tasks an elite athlete ever faces: crafting a second act worthy of his fame, his interests, his time and his drive.

For everything Bryant accomplished as a slam-dunk, first-ballot Hall of Famer — he figured to be enshrined in Springfield, Mass., next September alongside certain 2020 classmates Tim Duncan and Kevin Garnett — he was going to be fascinating to watch all over again for what he was building now.

Already, there was Granity Studios, the multimedia company from which the ESPN+ series “Detail” sprung, analyzing pro athletes’ performances. It’s the home, too, of a podcast Bryant originated, “The Punies,” to impart life lessons to children and their families through songs and sports.

There was his short animated film “Dear Basketball,” inspired by a poem Bryant wrote to announce his retirement from the NBA. It blew up in the entertainment industry, earning Annie and Sports Emmy awards, along with a 2018 Oscar.

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NBA Commissioner Adam Silver statement regarding the passing of Kobe Bryant

NEW YORK – NBA Commissioner Adam Silver issued the following statement today regarding the passing of Kobe Bryant:

“The NBA family is devastated by the tragic passing of Kobe Bryant and his daughter, Gianna.

“For 20 seasons, Kobe showed us what is possible when remarkable talent blends with an absolute devotion to winning.  He was one of the most extraordinary players in the history of our game with accomplishments that are legendary:  five NBA championships, an NBA MVP award, 18 NBA All-Star selections, and two Olympic gold medals.  But he will be remembered most for inspiring people around the world to pick up a basketball and compete to the very best of their ability.  He was generous with the wisdom he acquired and saw it as his mission to share it with future generations of players, taking special delight in passing down his love of the game to Gianna.

“We send our heartfelt condolences to his wife, Vanessa, and their family, the Lakers organization and the entire sports world.”

Las Vegas Postpones Activity Related To Launch Of New Advertising Campaign In Wake Of Death Of Kobe Bryant, His Daughter Gianna And Others In Helicopter Crash

LAS VEGAS — In light of the tragic crash that claimed the lives of Kobe Bryant, his daughter Gianna, and others on board, the Las Vegas Convention and Visitors Authority (LVCVA) announced it will postpone all activity surrounding the launch of its advertising campaign until a later date. The new advertisement was already placed in rotation during the Grammys and cannot be withdrawn, so it will run as previously scheduled.

The following is a statement from Steve Hill, CEO and president of the LVCVA:

“As many are aware, we were prepared to launch the newest advertising campaign for Las Vegas during the Grammys telecast on Sunday, January 26. In light of today’s tragic accident that claimed the lives of Kobe Bryant, his daughter Gianna, and others on board, we are postponing any activity planned on the Las Vegas Strip until a future date. The hearts of everyone in Las Vegas are with the families and friends of those lost, with all of Los Angeles and with his fans around the world.”

The Las Vegas Convention and Visitors Authority (LVCVA) is charged with marketing Southern Nevada as a tourism and convention destination worldwide, and also with operating the Las Vegas Convention Center. With nearly 150,000 hotel rooms in Las Vegas alone and more than 11 million square feet of meeting and exhibit space citywide, the LVCVA’s mission centers on attracting ever increasing numbers of leisure and business visitors to the area. For more information, go to or

Source: Las Vegas Convention and Visitors Authority

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