Obama went on stage once again and sent condolences to the families of the nine killed in the helicopter crash. The late great basketball star Kobe Bryant died, too. The basketball player joined the Los Angeles Lakers right after high school. Then, he remained with the team his entire career, which was extremely rare.
CNN’s Wolf Blitzer tweeted about 44’s speech, saying it was “a moving and emotional moment:”
‘It was a moving and emotional moment at the @NBA All-Star Weekend Newsmaker Brunch when former President @BarackObama spoke about Kobe Bryant. ‘
— Wolf Blitzer (@wolfblitzer) February 15, 2020
Bryant was nominated to join the NBA hall of fame on Saturday. Obama spoke at the National Basketball Association (NBA) All-Star Weekend Newsmaker Brunch, according to The Business Insider:
‘That loss is something I know many are still grappling with.’
The president spoke about the pain that was generated by the death of Bryant’s 13-year-old daughter, Gianna. She was killed in the helicopter crash along with her father in January. Obama related the crash to his own daughters Sasha and Malia:
‘Because he was with his daughter and those families, and those children. And those of us who have had the joy and privilege of being parents and taking kids to ballgames, and rooting for our children, and seeing our dreams and hopes passed on to them. Nothing is more heartbreaking.’
Obama wrote about Bryant’s many accomplishments after he retired from the NBA:
‘Kobe was a legend on the court and just getting started in what would have been just as meaningful a second act. To lose Gianna is even more heartbreaking to us as parents. Michelle and I send love and prayers to Vanessa and the entire Bryant family on an unthinkable day.’
Obama did not mention that he and Bryant had been working together on a program for teens:
Los Angeles Lakers assistant coach Phil Handy said, according to The Undefeated:
‘The crazy part about it was two weeks ago I was in the gym with Kobe, Gigi and Alyssa. We had a very current relationship. We were active. We were working on some stuff on the side. I don’t know, man. That part is hard because I feel like my relationship with him was really starting to blossom and go into different areas.’
‘Last year was the first invitation-only camp with NBA players at the Mamba Sports Academy. It was crazy because he trusted me to put the whole event together from top to bottom. I asked him, “Kobe, is there certain guys you want there?” And he said, “I only want the guys there that want to be there for the right reason.” Dudes that want to learn. Dudes that want to work. Dudes that love the game. That was it. Do they have the right mindset for the game, do they respect their craft, are they serious about getting better, and do they want to work?’
Others who died in the crash included: college baseball coach John Altobelli, 56, the father of Gianna Bryant’s basketball teammate Alyssa Altobelli; Sarah Chester, 45; and Ara Zobayan, 50. The pilot also died in the crash. There were no survivors.
Featured image is a screenshot via YouTube.
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