The morning after the shocking death of Kobe Bryant and his 13-year-old daughter in a helicopter crash, investigators were working to determine what caused the luxury chopper to go down on a remote hillside. The sports world, meantime, continued to come to grips with the loss of the former Los Angeles Lakers star, with tributes rolling in across the globe.
WATCH Mourners gather in Los Angeles after Kobe Bryant’s death VIDEO BELOW:
Investigators from the National Transportation Safety Board arrived in California Sunday and had been scheduled to gather around 7 a.m. Pacific time before heading to the crash site to begin documenting the scene, an agency spokesman said.
The federal agency has a team of about 20 people in L.A., NTSB spokesman Keith Holloway said, and will work with the Federal Aviation Administration, the helicopters’ manufacturer and the company that made its engine. “One of the priorities is to collect as much perishable evidence as possible,” Holloway said. The FBI is helping the board’s staff document the scene, which is standard procedure.
The investigation will examine weather data, radar information, air traffic control communications, maintenance logs and the pilot’s record, Holloway said. The meeting early Monday will be used to assign roles and areas of focus for the investigation ahead.
A hometown loss
The death of Kobe Bryant was acutely felt in Los Angeles, but his basketball journey began in Lower Merion, Pa., where stunned fans paid tribute to the star who played high school basketball there from 1992-1996 before heading directly to the NBA.
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“We lost one of the greats,” Romeire Brown told Philadelphia’s ABC affiliate. “The Mount Rushmore of basketball.”
Fans ask for a new NBA logo
On the day after Kobe Bryant’s death, some fans were rallying behind the idea of changing the NBA ‘s logo to a silhouette of the former Lakers star. A petition on Change.org had gotten over 227,000 signatures by midmorning.
Almost three years ago, Jerry West, who has graced the logo since 1969 and was close with Bryant, said he was fine with the idea of changing it. “I wish that it had never gotten out that I’m the logo,” West told ESPN’s “The Jump” in April 2017. “I really do. I’ve said it more than once, and it’s flattering if that’s me — and I know it is me — but it is flattering. But to me, I played in a time when they first started to try to market the league. There were five people that they were going to consider, and I didn’t find out about it until the late commissioner [J. Walter Kennedy] told me about it. . . .
“Again, it’s flattering. But if I were the NBA, I would be embarrassed about it. I really would.”
West, who was the Lakers’ general manager when the franchise acquired Bryant, called Sunday “one of the worst days of my life.”
WATCH FAA, NTSB Begin Investigating Deadly Calabasas Crash Of Kobe Bryant’s Helicopter VIDEO BELOW:
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Bless Your Heart!