Fans, people who knew basketball great Kobe Bryant and those who were simply crestfallen over his death in a helicopter crash that also killed his 13-year-old daughter and seven others held vigils in Los Angeles and Orange counties to share their grief.
Thousands gathered Sunday afternoon at Staples Center, where Bryant played with the Los Angeles Lakers.
“I’m literally in STAPLES Center right now. Everyone has the same look of loss right now. We’re all zombies. Surreal doesn’t even begin to describe what it feels like,” tweeted ESPN Senior Writer Justin Tinsley.
A makeshift memorial was also erected at the downtown mural of Bryant in the 1300 block of Lebanon Street. Hundreds of people have written tributes on Post-It notes.
A fan named Michael told KABC7: “They don’t make them like that anymore. Everybody wants to take the easy route, but Kobe he was willing to never be satisfied at where he was. He always wanted to push to a higher level. You don’t see that no more. I just appreciate everything you did Kobe, for real.”
A sign at the site quoted Bryant. “The most important thing is to try and inspire people so that they can be great in whatever they want to do.”
The Lakers also created a space for fans outside their training facility but inside the security gates at 2275 E. Mariposa Ave. in El Segundo. Fans are signing a large white canvas.
” There’s a Lakers backdrop with flowers and candles in front of it. Some photos of Kobe, L.A. Times Reporter Tania Ganguli tweeted.
People have gathered outside the Pelican Crest gated community where Bryant lived with his family. “He may be a giant to the world but he’s Kobe to us,” local resident Cathy Kropf told KNBC4.
A shrine was also set up at Bryant’s Mamba Sports Academy in Newbury Park, where he was headed for a basketball tournament with 13-year-old daughter Gianna, other teens and their parents when the helicopter crashed.
And some people are gathering near the Calabasas hillside where the crash occurred, which has been secured so the National Transportation Safety Board can conduct its investigation.
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