Five-time NBA champion, basketball legend, and motorcyclist Kobe Bryant died in a helicopter crash on Sunday, January 26, 2020. His 13-year-old daughter Gianna and seven other people also perished in the Calabasas, California crash. Bryant was 41.
Bryant’s drive, determination, and laser focus on improving himself and his game were unmatched during his lifetime. 20 seasons with the Los Angeles Lakers, 18 MVP All-Stars, two Olympic gold medals, an unbelievable 81 points scored in a single game, and 60 points scored in his final game before his retirement—the man’s talent and work ethic were simply undeniable.
Although basketball was indisputably Bryant’s driving force, he also enjoyed life on two wheels at times. As many fellow riders can relate, it’s something he did, part of who he was as a multi-faceted human being.
Bryant no doubt had a stunt double for his riding in this Adidas commercial, but another thing Bryant was well known for off the court was his love of catchy slogans. In a 2016 ESPN interview, he said that if his life had gone a different way, he probably would have gone into advertising. Instead, he studied it on his own, learning how best to market himself. While we can’t say for sure that he had anything to do with this specific ad, Bryant told ESPN that “I wrote 90 percent of my own commercials.”
Family, friends, fellow athletic luminaries from the basketball world and beyond, fans—an entire world of people are grieving the loss of both Bryants and every other life lost in this crash. Authorities including the NTSB are investigating the cause of the crash, but the LA Times reports that strong fog was likely a factor. According to that paper, the LAPD reported that its own helicopters stayed grounded during that time due to conditions.
We at RideApart join the world in mourning this terrible loss of life, and extend our condolences to all who knew and loved everyone who tragically lost their lives in this crash.