The Los Angeles Lakers are approaching the first anniversary of the tragic helicopter crash that took the lives of Kobe Bryant, his daughter Gianna, and seven other individuals.
It feels like the incident happened an eternity ago due to the eventful nature of last year that carried over to the first weeks of 2021. But on Jan. 26, only 12 months will have passed since the disastrous news shocked the entire world at the beginning of the ill-fated 2020.
Kyle Kuzma did not attempt to hide his sorrow when asked about the tragedy in the days leading up to the anniversary of Bryant’s passing. “It was very tough, especially for the people that were close to him,” he said.
“Obviously family, Vanessa, his children, mother, father. Probably really tough for them in the public. And for us that actually knew him closer than others, it was tough. Just something that’s always in your head. He’s always in my head.
“A very tough situation we went through last year. For those that were close to him, it continues to be tough.”
LeBron James provided a different perspective when answering a similar question. The four-time NBA champion said he was confident Kobe and Gianna Bryant “looked down on [the Lakers]” proud of the franchise’s recent success.
But, James added, he would rather focus on continuing Bryant’s legacy than give in to the sadness of Bryant’s tragic death. “I try not to take myself back to that position, that place, or that timeframe,” he said.
“I definitely don’t want to live out that day again, but I’ll always continue to move forward and live out his legacy.”
Vanessa Bryant asks media to be ‘considerate’ in lead up to Kobe’s death anniversary
Vanessa Bryant thanked media outlets on Instagram for a respectful coverage of her husband’s passing ahead of Jan. 26. She also expressed hope journalists would be “considerate” before republishing footage of the crash and asked to celebrate the lives of those who died rather than “the day [their families] lost them” in the coming days.
“We do NOT want to see it,” Vanessa wrote about videos and photos of the accident. “Our year has been traumatic enough. We hope videos of remembrance are done in a classy and tasteful manner that is respectful of all our losses. Thank you,” she finished her message.
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