The Death of Kobe Bryant: Fallen Icons and Heart of Popular Culture

By Justin Bailey

On Sunday, January 26, 2020, Kobe Bryant, his thirteen-year-old daughter Gianna, and seven others were killed in a helicopter crash. The deaths sent shockwaves through the NBA, Los Angeles, and the world at large. NBA teams started games by taking 24 and 8 second violations, in tribute to the numbers he wore. Talk show hosts wept openly. Sports analysts spoke of lost friendship, reconciliation, and death. Tributes poured out from a whole generation who had grown up wanting to be like him.

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