Los Angeles Laker great Kobe Bryant, his daughter Gianna and seven others were killed when a helicopter crashed in Calabasas, California, shortly after 9 a.m. on Sunday. The helicopter was on its way from John Wayne Airport in Orange County to the Mamba Sports Academy in Thousand Oaks, California.
The crash also took the lives of junior college baseball coach John Altobelli, his wife Keri, their daughter Alyssa, elementary school basketball coach Christina Mauser, Sarah Chester and her daughter Payton Chester. Police have not released the name of the pilot, who was also killed in the crash.
Bryant was only 41 and had appeared to be relishing his retirement, particularly by spending lots of time with his daughter and coaching her basketball team. It was only a few weeks ago that the following footage of Kobe and Gianna taking in a Lakers game went viral.
Sports fans around the world were shocked by the tragedy, with many athletes paying tribute to Bryant during their games. PSG star Neymar held up the number 24 with his fingers and prayed after scoring against Lille on Sunday. The Raptors and Spurs each chose to take a 24-second violation at the start of their game Sunday night. Twitter was filled with people from all walks of life honoring the Lakers legend.
Bryant was survived by his wife Vanessa and their three daughters—Natalia, Bianka and Capri.
It's unclear how Bryant's legacy will be remembered. Many recall his heroics on the court and the championships that he won, while just as many won't forget the sexual assault trial that dominated the headlines for much of 2003-2004. Bryant was a complicated star and it will take some time to see how history remembers him.
Steve Butcher, a tattoo artist and Lakers fanatic, has tattooed the image of Bryant on the skin of many fans over the years. Butcher posted the following tribute to Bryant on Sunday.
In the gallery below you'll find a ton of tattoos of Kobe Bryant by Butcher and many other amazing artists. It's our way of remembering the NBA star.