Mavericks retiring No. 24 in honor of Kobe Bryant

Marje Pelayo   •   January 27, 2020   •   560

Los Angeles Lakers Kobe Bryant shouts directions against the Houston Rockets in the second half of play in their NBA basketball game in Los Angeles, California, USA, 03 January 2012 (reissued 26 January 2020).

Dallas Mavericks owner Mark Cuban announced that his team is taking number 24 out of its list of jersey numbers as a tribute to NBA legend and icon Kobe Bryant.

Bryant never played for the Mavericks but Cuban’s reason for his decision to strike number 24 from his team’s jersey numbers was Bryant’s significant impact on the game of basketball.

“Kobe was an ambassador for our game, a decorated legend and a global icon. Above all, he was a loving and dedicated father,” Cuban wrote in a statement on Twitter.

“Kobe’s legacy transcends basketball, and our organization has decided that the number 24 will never again be worn by a Dallas Maverick,” he added.

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Bryant, along with his daughter Gianna, was on his way to a travel basketball game the helicopter they were on crashed Sunday morning (January 27) near Calabasas, California.

In honor of his death, teams in the NBA deliberately took 24-second shot clock and eight-second violations before they start the game as tribute to the NBA icon.

Bryant began his NBA career in 1996 with number 8 and made significant records for LA Lakers until he decided to change to 24 from 2006 until his retirement in 2016.

Born Kobe Bean Bryant on August 23, 1978, he was considered one of the greatest NBA players of his generation, spending all his 20-year basketball career exclusively to Los Angeles Lakers.

His scores in both of his numbers are equally notable.

Bryant had 16,777 points as Jersey #8 with three title wins and eight All-Star appearances.

Meanwhile, he had 16,866 points as Jersey #24 with two more title wins and 10 All-Star Games appearances.

Likewise, he was hailed as NBA’s scoring champion while wearing each of his numbers.

The success of each stage of his career justifies Lakers decision to retire not just one of Bryant’s numbers.

Thus, Bryant will be the first player in the NBA history to have two different numbers retired by the same team – 8 and 24.

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NBA suspends season until further notice after player tests positive for COVID-19

UNTV News   •   March 12, 2020

The National Basketball Association (NBA) said on Wednesday it was suspending the season until further notice after a Utah Jazz player tested positive for the coronavirus.

The test result was reported shortly prior to the tip-off of a game between the Jazz and Oklahoma City Thunder at Chesapeake Energy Arena.

The league said the affected player, reportedly center Rudy Gobert, was not in the arena.

“The NBA is suspending game play following the conclusion of tonight’s schedule of games until further notice,” the league said.

“The NBA will use this hiatus to determine next steps for moving forward in regard to the coronavirus pandemic.”

The pandemic rocked the North American sports calendar on Wednesday, leading to the cancellation of the figure skating world championships and the announcement that college basketball’s annual ‘March Madness’ tournament would take place without fans in attendance. (Reuters)

(Production: Peter Bullock)

Vanessa Bryant: There aren’t enough words to describe our pain right now

Aileen Cerrudo   •   January 30, 2020

The word ‘grief’ is not enough to describe the pain of losing a love one.

Vanessa Bryant expressed her devastation on Instagram after her husband Kobe and daughter Gianna died in a helicopter crash on Sunday (January 26).

“There aren’t enough words to describe our pain right now,” she said.

There will be no words but only emptiness: in the shoes that will never set foot on the court, mugs that will never be filled during a beautiful Sunday morning, or family pictures that will never be the same.

Bryant also expressed her gratitude to the people who offered their support. She also asked everyone to grant them “the respect and privacy we will need to navigate this new reality.”

“My girls and I want to thank the millions of people who’ve shown support and love during this horrific time. Thank you for all the prayers. We definitely need them,” she said in her post.

View this post on Instagram

My girls and I want to thank the millions of people who’ve shown support and love during this horrific time. Thank you for all the prayers. We definitely need them. We are completely devastated by the sudden loss of my adoring husband, Kobe — the amazing father of our children; and my beautiful, sweet Gianna — a loving, thoughtful, and wonderful daughter, and amazing sister to Natalia, Bianka, and Capri. We are also devastated for the families who lost their loved ones on Sunday, and we share in their grief intimately. There aren’t enough words to describe our pain right now. I take comfort in knowing that Kobe and Gigi both knew that they were so deeply loved. We were so incredibly blessed to have them in our lives. I wish they were here with us forever. They were our beautiful blessings taken from us too soon. I’m not sure what our lives hold beyond today, and it’s impossible to imagine life without them. But we wake up each day, trying to keep pushing because Kobe, and our baby girl, Gigi, are shining on us to light the way. Our love for them is endless — and that’s to say, immeasurable. I just wish I could hug them, kiss them and bless them. Have them here with us, forever. Thank you for sharing your joy, your grief and your support with us. We ask that you grant us the respect and privacy we will need to navigate this new reality. To honor our Team Mamba family, the Mamba Sports Foundation has set up the MambaOnThree Fund to help support the other families affected by this tragedy. To donate, please go to MambaOnThree.org. To further Kobe and Gianna’s legacy in youth sports, please visit MambaSportsFoundation.org. Thank you so much for lifting us up in your prayers, and for loving Kobe, Gigi, Natalia, Bianka, Capri and me. #Mamba #Mambacita #GirlsDad #DaddysGirls #Family ❤️

A post shared by Vanessa Bryant 🦋 (@vanessabryant) on

She also offered her condolences to the other victims of the crash and called on the public to support the other families affected by the tragedy.

“To honor our Team Mamba family, the Mamba Sports Foundation has set up the MambaOnThree Fund to help support the other families affected by this tragedy. To donate, please go to MambaOnThree.org.
To further Kobe and Gianna’s legacy in youth sports, please visit MambaSportsFoundation.org,” she said.—AAC

Authorities identify remains of Kobe Bryant, 3 others

Maris Federez   •   January 29, 2020

The Los Angeles County Medical Examiner-Coroner has announced that they have already identified the body of four of the nine passengers of the private helicopter that crashed into a Calabasas, California, hillside on Sunday, US Pacific time.

The Coroner said the four bodies recovered, including that of NBA Legend Kobe Bryant, were officially identified through the use of fingerprints.

The other three bodies were that of Orange Coast College Basketball Coach John Altobelli, Sarah Chester – the mother of Payton Chester who was one of those who perished and Gianna Bryant’s teammate, and Ara Zobayan, the pilot.

Investigators are still working on identifying the five remaining bodies.

Initially, three of the nine fatalities were recovered on Sunday, while the other six were retrieved on Monday.

The Coroner’s office said they will immediately announce the names of the other five once they have confirmed their identities and have their respective families informed.

Meanwhile, the National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) said investigation is still underway as to the cause of the crash of Bryant’s private Sikorsky S-76.

The investigators have flown drone over the crash site to secure needed videos. They have also gathered the debris of the chopper.

“We also worked with drones today, to document the scene and then we duplicated part of the flight path. So, we flew part of the end part of the flight path with our drones using ADSB data,” said NTSB member Jennifer Homendy.

Homendy said the chopper didn’t have flight data or cockpit voice recorder as it is not a requirement on the model of LA Lakers superstar’s chopper to have a black box.

However, the investigators were able to make use of the pilot’s ipad that was recovered at the crash site as he was using the foreflight app installed in it.

The app was a big help to the investigators in reviewing the flight plan and the other circumstances surrounding the accident.

“We were able to recover an iPad and a cell phone. We do not know if that’s the pilot’s iPad so we are going to take those personal electronic devices, we are going to send them back to our lab at headquarters for further analysis,” Homendy said.

Homendy further said that the preliminary information suggests that the chopper descended rapidly and crashed with a “high energy impact”.

“We know that the helicopter was at 2300 ft (700 meters) when it lost communication with air traffic control. The descent rate for the helicopter was over 2,000 ft (600 meters) a minute, so, we know that this was a high energy impact crash,” Homendy added. — (with details from Bernard Dadis) /mbmf

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