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‘It Was the First Time I Saw so Many Men Crying Together,’ Thousands Flock to Staples Center to Mourn Kobe Bryant (Photo Essay)

10:43 AM PST on January 27, 2020

[dropcap size=big]L[/dropcap]os Angeles and the rest of the world woke up to a nightmare yesterday morning: a Kobe Bryant-less L.A.

At approximately 9:47 AM on January 27, 2020, a 911 call came in reporting a helicopter crash in the foothills of Calabasas. It was later confirmed that the helicopter crash was carrying Kobe Bean Bryant, his 13-year-old daughter Gianna Bryant, and seven others. 

Upon hearing the untimely news, his legion of fans dropped everything they had planned and paid their respects at “the house that Kobe built,” the Staples Center. Droves of Kobe fans in mourning flocked to the venue where Bryant established himself throughout his 20-year-career in Los Angeles throughout the day. 

There were candles, purple and gold roses, and the unforgettable sound of “Kobe” chants interwoven with the “sound of so many men crying together,” as our reporter Mariah Castañeda who was there put it.

Photos by Kemal Cilengir.

Photos from here onward by Mariah Castañeda and Erwin Recinos.  

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