LOS ANGELES (CBSLA) — The world has joined the city of Los Angeles in mourning the death of Kobe Bryant with fans shocked and saddened over the news of his passing.
A sea of fans, many in purple and gold Lakers jerseys, converged onto the Staples Center following the news of Bryant’s death, dropping off flowers, jerseys and basketballs to pay tribute to the NBA legend, chanting “Kobe!” and “MVP!”
“This is the house that Kobe built,” said one fan. “This is his domain and I felt compelled, as his fan, to pay our respects to Kobe.”
It was a surreal moment for so many fans, who shared memories of Bryant.
“I grew up in a Laker family. I looked up to Kobe. He was my inspiration. He was my idol,” said one fan.
“He’s one of my idols you know i grew up as a kid watching him play basketball came to staples center see him play came to the parades..seen him show us that i did it for la and that’s why we’re here to show him…thank you kobe.
Marquees across LA Live and in front of the Staples Center flashed a photo of Bryant with the words, “in loving memory.” Fans made memorials filled with flowers, jerseys, posters and basketballs.
“I was like we got to go we got to go down there and hopefully everybody can show their love and support,” one fan said.
“It’s a sad day that Kobe’s not here, but all these people are a testament to all the greatness he’s brought to LA,” said another.
At times the crowd would break out into chants for both Bryant and his 13-year-old daughter Gianna.
Many fans were sending their love to Bryant’s wife Vanessa.
“Vanessa, we’re here for you. LA’s got your back. We love you,” said one supportive fan.
The outpouring of support is a testament to just how much Kobe Bryant– the Black Mamba– meant to the city of Los Angeles.
“We’re diehard Lakers fans so when the city’s mourning, we’re all mourning,” said one fan.
Bryant was a 5-time NBA champion, 18-time NBA All-Star, 2-time NBA Scoring champion and 2-time Olympic medalist.