Kobe Bryant, a legend of NBA basketball, died on the 26th of January 2020 at the age of 41 while alongside his daughter Gianna, aged 13, due to their helicopter crashing in Calabasas, California. Kobe Bryant is an iconic basketball player who not only is a five-time NBA champion, but is also considered ‘one of the greats’ due to his excellent work ethic and skill on the court when playing for the LA Lakers. 


To add to his legacy, not only was Kobe an outstanding basketball player, but also a great dad and an extremely kind person. He was graciously honoured by Alicia Keys at the Grammys, who talked about the “hero” with immense amounts of respect and admiration. Elle Duncan, a news reporter at ESPN, recently talked about an interview she had had with Kobe two years ago. Bryant and Duncan began talking about Duncan’s pregnancy, until she eventually asked Bryant whether he was worried about having too many girls in the house in the future. Bryant then replied “I would have five more girls if I could [...] I’m a girl dad.” 


So from that point, the phenomenon started, with countless fathers using #girldad on twitter and causing it to go viral, with celebrities such as Alex Rodriguez being part of the movement. As well as this, celebrities and fans went online to express their feelings of loss due to the accident, with Chrissy Teigen tweeting “this is absolutely terrible. Everyone is numb.” Fans also gathered in front of the Staples Centre and made a makeshift memorial for Bryant, placing down flowers and basketballs in commemoration of his loss. 


The LA Lakers are also set to play against the Portland Trail Blazers on Friday the 31st of January at the Staples Centre. In order to honour Kobe, each seat in the stadium will have a t-shirt with either the number 24 or 8 on it. Bryant played with both of these numbers during his 20 year career for the LA Lakers, who along with Kobe’s wife and fans, will continue to grieve the loss of an icon, a star, and most importantly, a father.


By Priyal Dhanjal