Kobe Bryant, 13 year old daughter among nine killed in helicopter crash, Fans, players mourn Kobe Bryant following NBA legend's death
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Employers who post on Ziprecruiter get a quality candidate within the first day Ziprecruiter Ruder. The smartest way to hire see. Why ziprecruiter is effective for businesses of all sizes trust Ziprecruiter for free at our web address? ZIPRECRUITER DOT COM SLASH CNN pod. That's ziprecruiter dot com slash C. N. N. P. O. D.. This is CNN breaking news. Hello I'm Wolf Blitzer. In Washington we want to welcome our viewers here in the united in states and around the world to a special Sunday edition of the situation room and we start this hour with very very tragic very sad news out of California. It's news that has left. The World of sports indeed the country at large so much of the world in the state of true shock the NBA legend Kobe Bryant and eight others including his thirteen year old daughter. Gina were killed in a helicopter crash earlier today. He of course is one of basketball's greatest players ever ever winner of. NBA Titles two time Olympic gold medals a most valuable player award and even an Oscar the crash that took his life. What happened earlier today in the town of Calabasas just outside of Los Angeles and the cause is still under investigation but we expect to learn more shortly the National Transportation Safety Board the TSP? They will hold a briefing any moment as it sends investigators to the crash site. CNN is covering all angles. Those of this breaking news story. Let's start with our correspondent. Nick Watt he's live on the scene in Calabasas for us. Nick first of all. What are you learning about the crash? Well we'll if we know that the FAA is already on scene as you mentioned the NTSB on the way. I don't think we will get any official answers for quite some time but what we know from speaking to people in this area. Is that when the crash occurred earlier. This morning. This was a very foggy morning. Visibility would have been low. I spoke to a pilot friend of mine who said he decided not to fly today. Because of the visibility I also speaking to people who live here on on the other side of the valley from the crash. They say they heard a loud impact. which might suggest this was not a controlled landing gone wrong? This was something else so visibility visibility of course something being spoken but I must stress Wolf. We have no official indication. What we're seeing over at the crash scene there? There is still a little bit of smoke this. The crash ignited a brushfire on that hillside in the past twenty minutes. Or so we've seen the flashbulbs of cameras taking pictures of the sea. Now first responders had to deal with the fire. I while also trying to preserve this scene. But you know what Wolf here in Los Angeles. The how and the why are very second-rate at the moment Kobe Bryant is dead at forty one years old. That is what people care about here. I'm surrounded by hundreds of people many wearing Lakers jerseys. So I'm wearing Kobe. Bryant Jerseys one young man I spoke to said I'm still in disbelief. Denial he said Kobe. Bryant is who made me watch basket ball in the first place now. We have spoken to two parents who were waiting at Kobe's Mamba Sports Academy there's a tournament going on there this morning Kobe's team. His daughter seemed G G. They were supposed to be playing there at noon. Did Not make it now. We did just hear from the Sheriff Wolf confirming there. There were nine people on board eight plus the pilot. We know Kobe Bryant. We know his thirteen year. Old Daughter. gee-gee we've also learned from the Orange County Register newspaper that John Altobelli who was a baseball coach at Orange County. College was also on board. Note names beyond that and you know what will the sheriff summed it up. He said we're not going to give out any more names right now. All he said is God. Bless their souls wealth and our deepest deepest condolences to all all of those wonderful families indeed. Nick we'll get back to you. I want to show our viewers right now. A moment of silence held in Kobe. Bryant's honor at the Denver Nuggets game just a little while ago right as the tragic news first broke. Watch this ladies and Gentlemen Basketball fans a tragedy has befallen the world of basketball earlier today at the the age of forty one Kobe Bryant was killed in a helicopter crash. In twenty seasons with the Lakers. Kobe was a seventeen time all all star two time. NBA Finals Mvp two-time Olympic gold medalist and five time NBA champion the NBA. And the game of basketball will mourn this loss together. Please join us in a moment of silence. Kobe Bryant rest in peace. Mamba Ombu very sad moment indeed joining us on the phone right right now. Kennedy Smith the former NBA Player of the Co host of the NBA on TNT. Our sister network. Kenny is I. I don't know what to say like so many millions aliens and millions of people all over the country and all over the world. It's so tragic and so sad. Tell us up first of all how you learn about this and what went through your mind. Take a while. We'll I I was in disbelief. Just like everyone else Shaath And just broke down much of two years I live in Los Angeles right now. my I have a basketball teams that play at the Mamba and we've practiced there so so I'm in that Jim four times a week that his facility Kobe's in there with his daughter hit his teams all the time you know the time I bet he's investing in to you know his family now so just chop and learned about it as I was driving towards home my daughter call me in disbelief instead. I hope you're sitting down because I have some news that you need to hear. And she told me what happened and I and I just stopped the car and shot and broke down in tears. Because it's just a tragic incident all around. I think your reaction was almost exactly the same as my reaction when my wife called me and gave me the news it was just so horrible. Tell us a little bit about Kobe. Bryant what will you remember. Must you know it's interesting. I think we've all we watched him as a basketball player. But this transformation that we're seeing in front of our eyes as a retired player you know is what I think. I'M GONNA remember most Because again he became and everyone can relate to soccer mob. He became the soccer dad. You know he basically. This is a corporal but his car pool was a helicopter so going to a game because most of us realize that our kids are never gonNA believe you know get a college scholarship then probably not GonNa be in the NBA or the WNBA which is spending this time with them and everything about his career was about him. Everything Kobe Bryant is Kobe. Bryant back commercials and this transformation and his retirement was all about highlight exempt. So that's what we all. I think that's former players try to achieve is like we know that a lot of our lives about us and he was now saying okay. Now I'm going to showcase my family as much as I can and you know through twitter and instagram could do easily now at everything was about them. And that's I think that's where it's hitting most of the players now because because that's the lights that they're trying trying to that he's trying to build that they're trying to build and we try to do and let's remember Kenny. What a great great great player? An amazing player Kobe Bryant was five time. NBA champion seventeen time all star two time. Olympic Gold Medalists D. You you have a favorite Kobe Bryant moment because there are so many wonderful moments So many you know as a as a fan because again you know our interactions were you know at most thirty minutes when I when I interacted with him You know and I'm also feeling for my my. Ah My my comrade Shaquille O'Neal I just I know how how much feel right now and I've talked. You know been texted him talking to him so I chill you know especially bath him more than anything so and as well as the families that's going on but my most memorable basketball moment I think it was when he hit a shot gets Phoenix and he pulls the Jersey to the side and he's like showing his heart And and the one thing that if if you recognize wolf like their people in the media in your profession I go you know they idolize big that maybe you you know. There's if people in certain areas the best of the best immolate copes like so all stars in our game emulate hip. Yeah he enjoyed and understand the the standard of what people do people. Don't say anything else. Well isn't it good. It's Kobe Bryant. He's the the next Kobe Bryant. or He's the next Jordan so he's the measuring stick for the position of what it is to be a a great basketball player and you you know he was a seventeen time. NBA All star went to the All Star Game Seventy Times. I think I know you were many of them. I think I was an all. I go every year to the league. The all-star Game I was in all of them and I remember specifically every single time wherever we are whether in New Orleans or Miami or Los Angeles Research ICAGO wherever the NBA. All Star weekend is taking place. Whatever Kobe Bryant was introduced it was a special moment for the twenty thousand or so fans who who were inside that arena? And you probably felt it as well without question because his his greatness was captivating astle astle fans but it could make opponents uncomfortable like and that that is very difficult to to have. Both you know a lot of times you know players players could be great but other other great players say well. He doesn't make me uncomfortable in terms of making replay differently. He's the only one of the few players in our the league in the history of the game that the great players he could make uncomfortable and You know he's you know again. He's talking about memories. I Ah Brockton when Hurricane Katrina hit and I I called him and I said Hey man I need you to come to play in a charity game. This is on a Monday wolf on Friday and Houston Texas to help the people with Hurricane Katrina. He says how many players had I said Koby We. Honestly you're the first person I called because I know if I get you everyone else. Who's GONNA come? And he said yes he says you know what tell everybody. I'm playing and he said tell him to strap up. Because I'M GONNA play for real and from there. I had twenty six players in less than twenty four hours. Say Yes because Kobe Bryant said yes I yeah it's it's especially when we're showing our viewers. Kenny live pictures outside the Staples Center in Los Angeles. Right now. People are gathering there. There's obviously a the big picture of Kobe in loving memory of Kobe Bryant It's hard to believe. Only forty one years old and he has passed. I mean it's shocking. To all of us I obviously got to meet him on a few occasions and he was such a wonderful special always so nice WHOA professionally as far as basketball is concerned? Where would you rank? I've clearly in the top five. But what do you think like I said it to you. Michael Jordan order a measuring stick of the position so You know there are people when when people say are you the next Jordan they say oh you the next Kobe and they used to say at one time. Are you the next Kareem abdul-jabbar those are Wilt Chamberlain. Those only four or five guys that you would hear maybe an Oscar Robertson Robison and. That's it you know next anything else. The only guys who could be the next because it goes into the most dynamic captivating cultivated players. Here's in the history of our game and He's GonNa be missed Rabat regard. We'll see a perfect person know at times. You know. We seem his flaws as well. Oh but in terms of what he did in terms of competition level and his in detail and his level of exodus and again the transformation into this I it's not about me anymore about my family this transformation that we were witnessing at the early stages of his retirement is what that I buy the most one final question before. I let you go We're getting ready mid February for the NBA. All Star game. It's going to be this year in Chicago. I'll be going there you'll be there. You'll be broadcasting. No doubt from there it's going to it's going to be a different. NBA All Star game. Because we've lost Kobe Bryant without question you know everything in the All star weekend. It's about celebratory. So I think that what we should also acknowledge it celebrators lice and not mourn his life as well so it could be a great fellow Pretoria weekend about all of the great things that he's done You know we can make everything about eight and twenty four so I don't know how you do it but everything should have a twenty four eight Motif to it being to it and just celebrate the life of a guy who carry the NBA on his back For like ten years or a decade or more It was the most known and and polarizing figure in the game gain around the world. Kenny Smith thanks so much for sharing some thoughts on this very very sad moment and I think you're absolutely right we. We will celebrate Kobe Bryant in the days weeks months and years to come especially in a couple of weeks at the NBA All Star game in Chicago. Thanks very much right right now. I want to bring in award winning sports broadcaster Bob Costas to get his reaction Baba I mean so sad. I don't know what you could say but Tell us how you yourself when you heard. The news that Kobe Bryant is thirteen year old daughter. Others were killed in this helicopter. Crash obviously an unspeakable tragedy Especially when children are involved in the bold face name is Kobe but there are eight others and not just his daughter beyond Kobean. Jonah there are seven others and it's a tremendous tragedy across the board. I thought back personally to the Kobe. Brian I met when he was eighteen years old. Fresh I shot of Highschool Lower Merion High School in Philadelphia where the gym and which is old high. School plays is now named after him. He had had an unusual usual youth for an NBA player his dad as you know had been an NBA player. Joe Jelly Bean Bryant. Who played with the seventy sixers teammate of Julius erving in the seventies and with a couple of other clubs and then he spent a good portion of his youth? Speaking of Kobe in Italy spoke fluent Italian he was more more mature. Eighteen year old and much more aware than most you would meet Nachos as an athlete but almost any eighteen year old in in any walk of life he was tremendously self-possessed tremendously aware and poised When I interviewed him for the first time at age eighteen and he was a superstar for star by the time he was in his early twenties? He didn't just have tremendous talent had presence. He had star quality and as Kenny Smith. Told you a moment ago yes he and fikile. O.`Neil were a nearly unstoppable unstoppable combination when they won three consecutive NBA Championships. But there there was always a feeling that he was one. A. And shock was the most dominant player in the game but then Kobe went on to lead the Lakers to two world championships. After shocking DOC ID departed for the Miami Heat and that was a statement. He wanted to make Kobe by. Everybody's testimony was always no matter what the accolades were no matter what the achievements were He. He was always pushing for something better and always measuring himself against perhaps in unattainable even for him standard what what made him such an exceptional player. Well you have to start with talent but then there's also dedication everyone who was close to him and I got an up close view for a long time when the NBA was on NBC for a good portion of his career through the early two thousands but even in later years? When I didn't see as much of him those who were following him covering him playing with an against him said that every off-season no matter what he had done he might have within the MVP or the scoring champion? He always came back having added something else to his repertoire. Having added some other move that would frustrate defenders offenders and I think as much as almost anything something that tells you the nature of him as a competitive athlete in twenty thirteen. He tore his Achilles at least ten. Then at this point he's already been in the League for more than fifteen years his hall of fame status as long since secured. They say he'll miss the better part of a year. He comes back in December of that year and barely a week. Later breaks a bone in his left knee. He's out until October of twenty fourteen fourteen and then he tears his rotator cuff almost anybody else at that advanced Bethlehem age with all the achievements. Already in place would have said. Okay okay fine. That's it but he put himself through a kind of athletic and rehabilitation hell to get back on the floor to make one final statement to play one final year to leave people with an image of Kobe. Bryant not hobbling around but scoring sixty points in his last game against the Utah Jazz. A- all of US watch that game with amazement. Indeed as you know Bob Kobe Bryant went straight to the NBA. Right out of high school only eighteen years old. Ah What's really amazing and it's pretty unusual. I think I don't know if you agree. He played for only one team all those years about twenty years. The Los Angeles Lakers. So what does that mean that he he stuck with one team for so many years. That's increasingly rare in pro sports and and it's something that people value the player who they attach to just one team. You think of CAL ripken with a Baltimore Orioles or Derek Jeeter. Who's now headed to the hall of fame with the Yankees? That's something important people. Tom Brady now contemplating where he will go next. It just seem. I'm a little odd if Tom Brady wears a uniform other than the Patriots just as it seems a little odd. Although it's just a footnote for Michael Jordan but to see him play for the Washington Wizards Wizards Kobe. Bryant never wore a uniform. Other than the Lakers. Which reminds me that he did wear two numbers for the Lakers? Eight and twenty. I four and I don't know if you heard about this wolf but at and at least one game and I'm told that it may happen in several. NBA Games tonight. The the raptors are playing the spurs tonight and on each team's first possession. They each intentionally took a twenty four second second violation they just stood and held the ball. Didn't attempt to score took a twenty four second violation but the raptors and the spurs to honor Kobe Bryant I and the number twenty four so it's really amazing before I let you go very quickly Bob because I know you're GonNa be busy all night and and hopefully you'll be back it with us But two time gold medal winner at the Olympic Games. And you've been to all those Olympic Games over the years what we the. NBA Hey has become so popular. Not only in the United States but all over the world right now and Kobe Bryant whether in Europe or Africa or Asia South America he's a household name in the modern history of the NBA. And this is to take nothing away from Kareem who kinda straddles both errors. I will or bill. Russell Bob cousy whoever preceded Oscar Robertson Jerry West in the modern history of the NBA. I think the most marketable the players and most internationally recognised players post Magic Johnson. And Larry Bird certainly been magic. Johnson Lebron James and Kobe Bryant and part of it is because Kobe is a unique name but he was one of a handful of one name athletes. You didn't need the last night everybody. Nobody knew who called me was as they know who. Lebron is really amazing. I've traveled all over the world and everybody obviously knew who he was. Everybody who loved basketball. So how many billions and millions of people around the world do Love Basketball Bob Costas. I know you're going to be sticking around. We'll continue our conversation. We're also getting reaction right now from around the world and this very tragic very sad breaking news the NBA Legend. Kobe Bryant among up nine people killed in a helicopter crash near Los Angeles more on his life in legacy. When we come back ever been knocked down you know suffered a setback fired left out? It happens it happens a Mike Bloomberg number middle class kid worked his way through college. Got A job started a family boom fired at thirty nine. What did Mike do or a lot of us? Do we got backup up dove back in. He had idea design a new computer able to quench data processing information in a unique way he built it he sold it he built more. He sold more. He built a team. Built a company created twenty thousand jobs. Bloomberg is a doer. This is Michael. Douglas I played a president and movies. Movies this is real world. This is our world. Mike Bloomberg has takes to win unite the country find some common ground between Democrats and Republicans the kids and then lead the way a leadership. Mike will get it. I'm Mike Bloomberg candidate from President. And I approve. This message paid paid for by Mike. Bloomberg Twenty Twenty National Transportation Safety Board is briefing reporters right now on this tragic helicopter crash. Let's listen structures and power plants and we already have a staff person from the regional office. onsite insight. We will also have two staff members from our family assistance team who will be working with the family delays another loved ones to help them get their resources that they need over the next couple of days months. We are leaving in a few minutes. I expect will arrive late tonight. We're likely to have a media briefing sometime tomorrow. Please monitor our twitter which is NTSB underscore newsroom for those announcements. I have time for a couple of quick questions. If you'll raise your hand State your name and your affiliation. What the question is what types of things will be looking for? Our team will be looking at The history of the pilots and whatever crew was on board will be looking at maintenance records of The helicopter Copter We will be looking at records of the of the owner and operator of the Hilla Copter and a number of other the things that we look at as part of the investigation You'd that's hard to tell The question is how How late will we be getting to work? We do have somebody who's on-scene or en route route from our Western Region Office and so when we get on scene we'll have to assess what we're able to do at that time I five Media on route forty nine people were killed two people. The question is how many people can be carried in the Sikorsky. Seventy six B. We are trying to figure out what the configuration of that helicopter is really just depends on the configuration. So that's something we're still trying to verify one more question is it. Typical descend eighteen and I should clarify. It's not a total total of eighteen investigators that includes our investigative staff that's There's the investigative staff support members. There are a couple for media relations. There's our family assistance team And I think that covers it. But it's typical for for any of our investigations. This does not change anything We this is just how we would respond to any investigation like does this. Type of helicopter have Blackbox that's something. We'll have to look at as part of the investigation. We're still on our way there so well thank you very much. All Right Jennifer Mendy board member the NTSB the National Transportation Safety Board. They're gonNA have a full scale investigation of this tragic. Horrific helicopter crash Kobe Bryant and eight others killed toby. Bryant only forty one years old old his thirteen year old daughter as well. Peter Goals is with us CNN aviation analyst former managing director of the NTSB. Peterson walk because through what is about to begin. Well they're going to land tonight. They'll probably do a quick tour of the site because they won't get there until after ten or eleven o'clock L. A. too on and they will make sure that the site is secure that any key pieces of equipment have not been damaged They're going to their family. Assistance Assistance Team is going to go into action and they are very skilled You know this is such a tough accident and You know the the they'll be important but tomorrow are mourning. The real work will begin. And they'll wanNA find out as member Hamady said they want to know the maintenance records to this plane the pilot qualifications nations. What was the weather like? What's the radar tracks? Show was any communication between the pilot and the ground. Tell us about this s seventy-six helicopter copter. You're familiar with it. I am news about There's over a thousand of them in use worldwide. They're used in a military setting they're used as air air ambulances and they're also you know the helicopter of choice for high end private use. I mean this is a dual engine. turbocharged helicopter opted. That has a very solid record so as far as you can remember off the top of your head. No previous major accidents. There have been. I think three that I was able to look up today. A but it certainly would would this number of of helicopters in the air. It's a it's a very positive record and you heard the question How many people can usually be seen in the helicopter like well? They use this helicopter for offshore the oil business for transferring crews out out to the rigs so you can get twelve to fifteen people into this Type helicopter depends on on. WHO's getting on but I don't think nine passengers would would be a away Wade issue for this this Powell? That was the issue whether in there were too many people on what you're saying there weren't brave. You probably not. You would look at the weather whether it's going to be an issue. I mean I've heard two different different reports on one that It was heavily fogged in early in the day. Some flights are being canceled. I've heard later that it was you know. Not Quite as heavy that there was over a mile visibility but certainly when it comes to helicopters flying at low altitude you're going to look at whether very careful the NTSB ESPN report. It'll take months until we get the final report right. Yes it's his will take a year to get the full report. They'll issue a preliminary report within thirty days. That will give us. I think A pretty good picture of way. The where the investigation is going. Peter Goals thank you very much for coming in always appreciate your expertise coming up. We're going to much more on our tragic breaking news on the death of the NBA Legend. Kobe Bryant much more right after this. Hey there it's poppy harlow the host of CNN's boss files podcast. Are you hungry. Have you ever had shake shack or latest. Episode is with the men behind the Burger business. Founder Danny Meyer and CEO Randy Randy Garate shake shack was born. If you didn't know as a hotdog cart in two thousand one and the whole thing actually started Danny. Meyer says by accident accident so we dive into that. What's the story behind? What is now a publicly traded company and what are they trying to do when it comes to equality eighty and wages and their experiment with four day workweeks also? Are they planning to offer plant based items on the menu. That is a big question. Also some of their favourite memories like when President Obama came to eat checkup boss files subscribed today today. Fans of Kobe Bryant are gathering right now outside Staples Center in Los Angeles. It's a place ace where Kobe Bryant had some of his greatest on the court achievements including five. NBA Championships with the Lakers. CNN correspondent. Paul vercammen is outside staple senator forest. He's joining us right now. Paul set the scene for us because there are a lot of sad fans over there right now. Yeah they're heartbroken in their here outside staples grammy's across the street. They've been breaking in the chance of Kobe Bryant. MVP and look at this family behind me. Liz and family have showed up all of them in Kobe. Bryant gear and Liz. Why would it? Kobe mean to you that you would come out in your regalia. Uh so Kobe. Brian represented my whole life since I was eight years old and you know up until he retired tired. He's been the Laker logo. The leaker person in Moran's local as a human. You know seeing all the things he went through with his wife we know what the whole infidelity CNN rise with all his championships. And all that I just saw the human him not only the player you no. I believe that he was a good man and I believe that it was such. It's such a tragic loss. You know my husband and I. He's he knows all the stats adding on like everything me thought him. As a man the man you know the human we super appreciate your time out many such sentiments being expressed breath here and also the LAKER nation. If you will Kareem abdul-jabbar Light Kobe Bryant five NBA Championships in that Laker Jersey. There's e six overall for Kareem Kareem. Had this to say about the Lakers. Now fallen superstar to family. Ah Want to send my most sincere and heartfelt of regrets and prayers and my thoughts are with you. Guys was an incredible family man then he loved his wife and daughters. He was incredible athlete and a leader in a lot of ways inspired all generation of young athletes. Kobe my thoughts. Would you absolutely rest in peace young men. This loss is. It's this article and let me sum up some of the tweets that have been flooding in former president. Barack Barack Obama Kobe was a legend on the court and just getting started in what would have been just as meaningful a second can act and again. I'll just sum up. These tweets many of them quite lengthy his teammates kilo. Neil of course Kobe and Shaquille O'Neal winning three straight NBA Championships. Gene chips coma. Kobe was so much more than an athlete. He was a family man. That was what we had most in common. We love our families. Whenever ever we got together I would hug his children like they were my own? And don't forget for a moment that Kobe and Shaq once said to be at tremendous odds on the Lakers curse and then the legend himself Michael Jordan. I'm in shock over the tragic news of Kobe's N. Jonah's passing. Words can't describe cried the pain. I'm feeling I loved Kobe. He was like a little brother to me. We used to talk often and now outside staples you can hear the chance of MVP. The fans thinking about Kobe Bryant and every treasured memory they had for him Los Angeles is heart sick but they're they're celebrating Kobe as well wolf not only in Los Angeles but all over the country indeed is so much of the World Paul Vercammen. Thank you very much for that report. WE'RE GONNA much more ahead of the breaking news of next. We'll talk to someone who interviewed Kobe Bryant very recently about life after basketball at his legendary career. Hey Everyone Andrew Aydin here host of the brand new podcast from H. L. N. down the hill. The Delphi murders. This is the story of Abigail Williams Liberty German German. They were typical teens into arts softball snapchat and in February of two thousand seventeen. They went for a hike on a warm day in Delphi. Indiana and and vanished nearly twenty four hours after that hike. Their bodies are found in the woods. They've been murdered and the police begin working a crime scene. They say A. They'll never unsee also found libby cellphone which has video and audio of the killer who three years later remains on the loose looks down the hill. The DELPHI murders begins on February fifth. Subscribe now wherever you get your podcasts. Look at the live pictures right now outside the the Al Los Angeles Staples Center. That's the home of the Los Angeles Lakers were Kobe. Bryant played for some twenty seasons tragically very sadly died today day in a helicopter crash south together with his thirteen year old daughter and eight other people dead at the age unfortunately only forty one years old wanna bring rigging Ernie Johnson right now is the host of inside the NBA on TNT. Our Sister Network Ernie so sad. I don't know what you could tell us but you covered Kobe Bryant for so many years. What went through your mind when you heard this horrific news wolf? It was skill Columba. Lebron Yeah I was. I had been North Carolina speaking and was driving getting home just listening to music as I was driving and my song called. Eric told me you heard the news and I said what are you talking about me told me don't believe it and I And will that that hits me. Hardest is is just how a family shattered it's Johnston comprehensible and And again as I continued to drive on the night. Switch the radio go to the NBA station for them talking about it and it's just it's just incredible. I thought that I called Kenny. And I called Charles. I called Shack and and And it was pretty much the same kind of thing. Just justice The stunned reality that this had happened And Look we'll I wish I ahead magic words or I could say something to make better at something profound to say and I don't I'm just I'm just loss and and all of us are And to see at the age of forty one and a guy was so much going for him not just talking about basketball ascot ball skills. I'm just saying this guy gets it and had wonderful lands for his family and his daughters and And it's just very tell big because You know you you. Well you reported on him you covered him. You got to know him I met him on a few occasions over the years What impressed me so much was yes? He was one of the greatest basketball players. Ever one of the greatest athletes. It's ever but he was such a nice human being such a nice person a truly wonderful man and I wanted to speak a little bit about veteran. Well Ah the thing that that always stuck out to me about. Kobe was not just his ability to play the game but his ability to the game and when we when he announced his retirement and he was playing his last season. Nate the Lakers came through Atlanta. And we arranged to do a sit down at the team hotel and we talked about. You know who is a toughest guy who gave you the gave you the the toughest time defensively was there. Kobe stopper and that kind of thing but also we just talked about the mental aspect of the game and he said to be a success in this league you have to understand human nature as he put it to me that they said look you can execute on the floor till the cows come home but unless you know what makes a player lawyer tick. You're Never GonNa win a championship. And you don't hear talk like that Jerry off mathematics. It was really deep and it was very insightful and it just just gave you a glimpse into the kind of person that Koby Bryant was when he took the floor. Everybody wants to win out there wolf but those host who have the success that Cobra had take it to that next level somehow mentally and he was able to do that and and drive himself to always be always be better and he was the capital. That team When just to go back in fact it's ten years ago? Okay you remember the Lakers. We had the western conference finals on. TNT Lakers win the Western Conference finals. I'm doing the trophy. Presentation and on that Laker team was wrought our test who was for the first time in his life going to go to the NBA finals. And so as I I stood there in a commercial break and I'm ready to do this interview I was looking for Ron behind all these players. I was standing next to Kobe because he was going to be the guy I talked to. I and I said where's Ron Gobi. Says what do you need Ron for said. He's going to the finals for the first time I said I'd I'd love to talk to him about that and Kobe knowing what Ron was asked to save from time to time said No. You're not doing that. I said come on. This guy is going to the finals for the first time he says. No I look at Phil Jackson. I said Phil come on. He says that's the captain and so the only guy I've talked to. There was Kobe Bryant. And that told you the the sway. He held there the respect. He had there on that Laker team and he was going to do what he viewed as the best for that. Ah For that Organization for that team at that moment and that was he would be the spokesperson and didn't want anything to go up on anybody's bulletin board or anything else he was going to be the spokesman that day you know. I think I speak for a lot of fans out there. I'm a season ticket holder for the Washington Wizards our hometown team here in the nation's capital and whenever over these many years the Lakers would come to town and we knew Kobe Bryant would be playing not just me but twenty thousand fans at the that would come to a game We got so excited. We just took a look at Kobe. Bryant playing right here and I'm sure it was going on all over the country at every stadium where he showed up and if he played internationally in Olympic game or whatever the same thing was going to talk a little bit about what he meant for for the NBA fans. I think he had the ability wolf and not that many players have it. There were a few who do that. You can feel the electricity in the building and the buzz from the fans when he touches the ball. You know Michael Jordan had Kobe. Bryant had that there were certain superstars who who have have that effect. Because you're just waiting to see what he's going to come up with next. I remember before Kobe came in the league. I would watch some of these great showdown between Dominique Wilkins and Michael Jordan. And I'd see Michael Make some moves in the course of the game and you've seen him where you sit man. How does anybody do that? We'll never see that when Kobe Bryant came in the League you saw that all the time and he had Michael as a role model a guy to look at and say that's the level I wanna be at and so he gave you those sentences those same kind of highlights on a nightly basis. And I and again you can look at players like look my buddy Charles. Barkley Alan Iverson Russell Russell Westbrook Michael Kobi. And here's what you know for. Sure that if you'RE GONNA pay money to go to a game in which those guys were playing you're not gonNA get cheated. They are going to give you absolutely everything like with Charles. You knew you were going to be entertained. You know he might get a might go for twenty points twenty rebounds but he also might tackle the mascot make your son daughter laugh with Alan Iverson. You knew that he wasn't going to leave anything in the tank. Same same with a guy like Westbrook and coby same deal driven to win driven to excel and and fleshed with God given even abilities that that we're just jaw dropping. I'll see you in a couple of weeks or so at the NBA All star weekend. all-star game weekend weekend in Chicago Ernie. And you know I asked any Smith this. It's going to have the death of Kobe. Bryant will have an impact on that weekend wolf to lose David Stern and a longtime NBA. Commissioner Yeah Yeah in in this span of time Now it's going to have a very different feel in Chicago and it was one of these things to you. Know I've been watching the coverage. And then you know looking at social media and seeing I mean it's just heartbreaking wolf to see the players around the league and how they are just empty. Nobody can believe what's happened and I don't know how those guys were playing that airplane unless they are simply driven riven by look. This one's for Kobe because he had he had that he had such an impact on all those players coming up who would watch him and those who had the chance to play against him And now to see an all star weekend and I was we. Were just just talking about him the other day when we were announcing the starters on our show the other night because Lebron is voted to start her again and I said well that breaks a time for the all time most with Kobe Bryant and then Kobe Bryant last night passed for third on the all-time scoring list by Lebron James. So he's out out of the game but very much still in the game because he was so great and and hardly a night goes by where you don't bring him up for some reason you know Oh that you know this player now joins colby and this player in this player had do this or that in an NBA game so to go to Chicago. Bill where we celebrate this game and how much fun. It is. it's going to have a different field And when one of those things that I saw on twitter with somebody had posted draft night ninety six and I was working with Hugh Brown and Rick Pitino on that show and it had had our description of You know the the ready with the next big at. Here's David Stern announcing the Charlotte is drafting Kobe. Bryant and that took me back But it just seems like a blink. It just seems like that just happened. We were just announcing Kobe. Bryant's coming Manila League. And now here we are on this day shaking our heads and than employing in the wake of something that we just can't Caitlyn richly you make an important point We lost in the last few weeks. David Stern the longtime commissioner of the NBA. Kobe Bryant would you host what is one of the most special parts of NBA All Star game weekend and in Chicago this year the NBA Legends Brunch. It's going to take on a whole new impact as a result of these these two losses that all of us have have been going through over these today over the past. Few weeks As Usual Ernie. You're you're a great man. Thank you so much for joining us Look forward to seeing you in Chicago. It's he would want the players to play. He would want the All Star game to go on. That's his nature. You knew him a lot better than I did. But I'm sure he's he's watching and he's and he's He's happy that the game continues because that was so important to earn Johnson. Thank you so much for joining us in and prayers for his family to. It's I just can't even begin to think what they're going through. Thank you our deepest condolences to his wife and the kids and the whole family and his friends and may he rest in peace and as we say may as memory be a blessing. We'll be right back.