Basketball idol fans gather at the Staples Center to honor their life.

Kobe Bryant leaves an indelible mark on his followers

Thousands of Los Lakers fans gather at the Staples Center. (Iliana Salguero)

Iliana Salguero / Impremedia

It was Sunday and around the Staples Center it seemed that the Lakers were living one of their glorious nights, in the streets thousands of fans were seen walking with the shirts of the team of their loves, on the back they had numbers 8 and 24; the gold and purple flags waved in the crowd.

The Angels had gathered at the Lakers house not to celebrate a triumph or a championship, but to honor the life of Kobe Bryant, who died on Sunday morning when the helicopter he was traveling in collapsed in the Calabasas area , California; Next to him were his daughter Gianna and seven others who have not yet been officially identified.

The Grammy celebration, which was held yesterday at the Staples Center was completely opaque. In her. Live in front of the enclosure that saw the “Black Mamba” live his best moments as a basketball player until he became a legend, he was adorned by gigantic photographs of the former player with the motto: “In memory of Kobe Bryant, 1978-2020”.

An indescribable sadness had taken over the place, sobs are heard from every corner, children and adults; Women and men took a moment to wipe away their tears and hug each other.

Suddenly, in unison you hear: “Let’s go Kobe, Let’s go Kobe,” the skin bristles with those choppy voices that come together to honor their idol. Suddenly silence and grief flood the place again.

“I was cleaning my house and when my daughter told me that Kobe was dead, I said‘ stop playing ”; the truth I was speechless, I do not think so, I feel that it is not true and I am very sad, ”says Jimena Cruz as she hugs her three daughters Cristal, Mia and Allison. "I came to Staples because today my heart is here, I felt that today I had to be here."

Very close to this family you can see a little girl holding a picture with the figure of Kobe.

"I feel sad, I really liked watching him play," Mia Villanueva says without releasing the black and white portrait.

“It's very sad that he won't be with us anymore, the city is very sad,” explains Mia's father, Henry Villanueva.

Before the man says another word, in the distance he begins to hear “MVP, MVP, MVP”, suddenly everyone has joined the cry that makes the city vibrate.

“I wanted to be here at Staples Center with the fans, give respect to Kobe and his family, because he is an idol for Los Angeles. I feel that his death hit very hard in the heart, he is like family and it is hard to think that he will not be there anymore, ”added Villanueva.

On one of the makeshift altars that fans have assembled with flowers, t-shirts, candles and posters, Angel Salas is a 13-year-old teenager, in his arms he carries a bouquet of roses – yellow and purple – he dresses from head to toe with the same colors, his eyes are full of tears and before he starts talking he pauses not to cry.

“I came to leave these flowers, I'm a big fan of Kobe Bryant, that's why I came. A long time ago when I came to a game I saw Kobe up close and felt a great connection with him, ”recalls the young man.

Next to Angel is his mother, Marcela Salas, who explains the reason he drove from Fontana to honor Bryant.

“He (Angel) has been a fan of Kobe Bryant since he was about two years old, when he started to like basketball, but when I told him what had happened he began to cry and even began to tremble from sadness at the impact of the news, ”says the woman.

Like Angel, thousands have arrived with a detail for their idol, an idol that leaves an indelible mark on the world of sport and in the heart of the Angels.


Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here