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Three years after Kobe Bryant's death: The story of a tragedy

Three years ago, basketball lost one of the greatest players of all time.

On January 26, 2020, Kobe Bryant died at the age of 41 in a helicopter crash while on his way to a game with his daughter Gianna, 13, and her friends.

Another seven people also lost their lives, as did the pilot, who was held responsible for the accident after investigations.

It has now been three years since that day but Kobe will never be forgotten. He was the idol of a whole generation of players, who grew up watching him play, trying to imitate his moves.

Kobe's death and the tragic nature of the incident made an already huge legend even bigger.

Pau Gasol, junto a Kobe Bryant,en un encuentro de los Lakers.

Pau Gasol, junto a Kobe Bryant,en un encuentro de los Lakers.

Bryant was the fourth highest scorer in NBA history (33,643 points), won five rings, participated in 18 All Star games, won two Olympic gold medals, scored 81 points in a game and 60 on the day that he retired, shot free throws despite tearing his Achilles tendon, fought a thousand times against pain...

A demi-god who seemed untouchable

He was likened to a demigod, an untouchable being. But suddenly Kobe became human in the cruelest possible way.

"You think he could have walked away from the accident, that's how invincible he was," said Pau Gasol, who considered him a big brother and has been close to the Bryant family after his death.

The Los Angeles Lakers' Staples Center was surrounded by thousands of fans who left at the gates bouquets of flowers, images of the idol, messages and letters.

Many walls in Los Angeles have been donning Kobe murals, while NBA games tipped off with players struggling to hold back their tears.

Un mural de Kobe Bryant en Los Ángeles.

Un mural de Kobe Bryant en Los Ángeles.

The integrity of Vanessa Bryant

Meanwhile, his widow, Vanessa Bryant, always managed to keep her composure. She was present in legal proceedings to have the negligence of the pilot, Ara Zobayan, acknowledged.

She also requested a compensation after pictures of the accidents were leaked by policemen and firefighter, who were on the scene.

Vanessa even entered into a legal battle against her own mother, Sofia Urbieta, who was demanding compensation for allegedly being thrown out of the family house.

Vanessa Bryant, viuda de Kobe, durante el funeral.

Vanessa Bryant, viuda de Kobe, durante el funeral.

At the ceremony in which a deceased Bryant was inducted into the Hall of Fame in May 2021, Michael Jordan delivered the induction speech.

"When Kobe died, a piece of me died," the NBA legend said.

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