The tech community at the Lakers home city Los Angeles have joined the NBA family and the rest of the world in celebrating Basketball legend Kobe Bryant who died in a helicopter crash in Calabasas, California at 10:00 am Pacific time on Sunday.
Reports say the crash claimed the lived of all nine people aboard the private helicopter including Kobe himself, his daughter Gianna Maria-Onore Bryant and seven others.
Kobe is famous for his exploits on the Basketball court with the LA Lakers the only team he played his 20-year long career. He also established himself as a loving father, entrepreneur, and philanthropist.
“Kobe was loved in Los Angeles,” wrote Mark Suster, managing partner of the Los Angeles-based venture capital firm Upfront Ventures, in a private message to TechCrunch. “He not only played at the peak of his sport but everything he did was quality from film, to books to philanthropy. It’s truly a sad day in LA.”
Bryant teamed up with serial entrepreneur Jeff Stibel in 2013 to invest in a series of ventures in Los Angeles including LegalZoom, Scopely, Art of Sport, The Honest Company, RingDNA, FocusMotion, DyshApp and Represent.
“We are mourning this terrible loss and still searching for the words,” wrote Mattias Metternich, co-founder of Bryant’s grooming startup, Art of Sport, in an email. “As a founding partner to [Art of Sport] he was woven into the very fabric of our company and its vision and DNA. As a mentor we drew on his wisdom, passion and drive everyday… In the short term our thoughts and hearts are with him, Gianna and his surviving family.”
Jessica Alba the CEO of the Honest Company took to Twitter to express her reactions to the news and Scopely’s official Twitter account shared a reaction, as well.
— Scopely (@scopely) January 26, 2020
Together with Shaquille O’Neal, Bryant helped make the Lakers the dominant team in the NBA in the early 2000s.
“Kobe was the rare combination of God-given talent on-and-off the court with a competitive athlete mindset that was unrivaled to the point it was called the ‘mamba mentality’. Whatever he put his focus turned into excellence, whether it was an NBA championship, an Oscar, entering the VC game or — most importantly — fatherhood,” wrote Upfront Ventures general partner Kobie Fuller. “This loss is shocking and puts into perspective how precious our moments on this earth really are. My heart goes out to the Bryant family during this incredibly difficult time.”
The only taint on Bryant’s successful career and life involved a sexual assault accusation in 2003 which was later settled, he apologised in the matter but never admitted guilt.