Weekend In Review – Kobe Bryant Died In Helicopter Crash, Eclipsing All Other Sports News

Remembering the late basketball star Kobe Bryant, an NBA star for 20 years, died Sunday in a helicopter crash near Calabasas, California. Bryant, 41, his 13-year-old daughter Gianna and...

(Photo Source: MTV.com)

Remembering the late basketball star

Kobe Bryant, an NBA star for 20 years, died Sunday in a helicopter crash near Calabasas, California.

Bryant, 41, his 13-year-old daughter Gianna and seven others perished at the scene at roughly 10 a.m. PT. There were no survivors. Bryant and his daughter, known as GiGi, were due at a basketball game Thousand Oaks in which she was to play and he was to coach.

Bryant went straight from high school in Lower Merion, Pennsylvania, to the NBA and the Los Angeles Lakers in 1996 and he played for no other professional team. The Lakers won five NBA titles and Bryant retired as the game’s third all-time leading scorer. He was unseated on the points list on Saturday night by LeBron James, now of the Lakers. Bryant also earned a pair of Olympic gold medals with the U.S. basketball team.

“Most people will remember Kobe as a magnificent athlete who inspired a whole generation of basketball players. But I will always remember him as a man who was much more than an athlete,” NBA great Kareem Abdul-Jabbar said via Twitter.

His sentiments were echoed by so many in Bryant’s arc – former teammate Shaquille O’Neal, NBA Commissioner Adam Silver, current players Trae Young, Joel Embiid, Blake Griffin, and Goran Dragic and former competitors such as Michael Jordan and Scottie Pippen.

Basketball:
LeBron James moved into third place on the NBA’s all-time scoring list Saturday night and paid tribute to the person he displaced – Kobe Bryant. James scored 29 points in a loss to the Philadelphia 76ers and edged past Bryant. James has 33,655 points and is now chasing Karl Malone (36,928) and Abdul-Jabbar (38,387).

In need of a center after the season-ending loss of Dwight Powell (Achilles tendon), the Dallas Mavericks traded a No. 2 pick to the Golden State Warriors for 7-footer Willie Cauley-Stein. Baylor will likely hold on to the No. 1 ranking in the men’s college poll after defeating Florida 72-61 on Saturday.

No. 15 Kentucky nipped No. 18 Texas Tech 76-74 on the road. Roy Williams moved into fourth among Division I coaches after posting his 880th career victory Saturday with North Carolina’s 94-71 victory over Miami.

Elsewhere:
15-year-old Coco Gauff’s run at the Australian Open ended Sunday with her three-set loss to Sophia Kenin for a berth in the quarterfinals. Mucho Gusto won Saturday’s Pegasus World Cup Invitational at Gulfstream Park, topping Mr. Freeze by 4 ½ lengths in a race deprived of its favorites (among them Omaha Beach) by scratches.

Marc Leishman won the Farmers Insurance Open by one shot over Jon Rahm. The AFC defeated the NFC 38-33 in the Pro Bowl in Orlando. Next up: Super Bowl LIV.

 
 
Post By: Larry Weisman, a longtime sportswriter for USA TODAY, blogs for Twistity.com. Follow him on Twitter @MrLarryWeisman

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