The massive Kobe Bryant fan-generated memorial across the street from Staples Center in Los Angeles was being dismantled Monday, eight days after the National Basketball Association legend died in a helicopter crash with his 13-year-old daughter Gianna and seven others.
"It went over my head", one caller told dispatchers. "Then we only heard a bang and a dead sound and then I could see the flames", said a caller and identified the plane not as a helicopter but as an airplane.
Other calls described being able to hear the helicopter, or the impact, but not see it. "If this guy doesn't have night vision, I mean, he was, he's completely IFR", in an apparent reference to Instrument Flight Rules, which govern flights which rely on instrument readings rather than visual reference. "We're looking at the flames right now on the hills". I wish they were here with us forever. Our love for them is endless-and that's to say, immeasurable. After the loss of husband Kobe Bryant and their 13-year-old daughter Gianna Bryant, Vanessa Bryant will undoubtedly be going through a wide range of emotions at present as she comes to terms with the events from last Sunday.
The 20,000 stadium seats were filled with grieving fans wearing Bryant tribute shirts and a heartbroken Lebron James, 35, shared a touching speech on behalf of the Lakers team. "So it was a good day for us today". I just wish I could hug them, kiss them and bless them. Have them here with us, forever. We ask that you grant us the respect and privacy we will need to navigate this new reality.
"Try to make it to as much as you can", he said.
During the first time-out less than four minutes into the game, a video of both Bryant and Gianna playing basketball was shown on the giant scoreboard as members of both the Lakers and Kings watched.