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NTSB Begins Investigation, Recovery Effort At Calabasas Crash Site
01/28/2020 12:00am

The crash at about 10 a.m. Sunday happened in rough terrain in the hills of Calabasas, in heavy fog conditions.

‘He Used To Say I Wanna Die Young’: Tracy McGrady Reveals Kobe Talked About Premature Death
01/27/2020 8:23pm

Kobe Bryant may have been shooting for immortality long before his life was tragically cut short.

Lakers, Clippers Game Postponed ‘Out Of Respect’ As NBA Mourns Kobe Bryant
01/27/2020 4:39pm

A game between the Los Angeles Lakers and the Clippers scheduled for Tuesday at Staples Center has been postponed following the tragic death of Lakers legend Kobe Bryant.

Remembering Kobe Bryant: 8 Quotes From The Lakers Legend’s Life
01/27/2020 3:40pm

Lakers star Kobe Bryant was known for his exploits on the basketball court, but he gave some of his more memorable quotes as his career wound down.

Athletes, Teams Pay Tribute To Kobe Bryant
01/27/2020 2:23pm

News of Bryants death in a helicopter crash that also killed his 13-year-old daughter Gianna drew tributes by athletes beyond the Los Angeles Lakers and across sports.

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‘He is L.A.’: Artist Paints Studio City Mural of Kobe Bryant and His Daughter Gianna as a Place to Reminisce
01/27/2020 10:20pm

The city of Los Angeles grieved the death of iconic Lakers legend Kobe Bryant on Monday, with murals and vigils popping up all around town. Art Gozukuchikyan, whose artist name is Artoon, decided to let Bryant be his muse as he painted a mural of the late NBA star and his 13-year-old daughter Gianna, who also died in the helicopter crash along with seven others. Gozukuchikyan began painting on the side of VEM Exotic Rentals located at 11467 Ventura Blvd.

LeBron James Tells Kobe Bryant: ‘I Promise I’ll Continue Your Legacy’
01/27/2020 8:55pm

LeBron James spoke out about Kobe Bryants on Monday, the first time hes issued a statement since the retired superstar died in a helicopter crash on Sunday. James opened by saying he was still Not Ready and that hed been struggling to compose a tribute. Man I sitting here trying to write something for this post but every time I try I begin crying again just thinking about you, niece Gigi and the friendship/bond/brotherhood we had he posted on Instagram.

NBA Postpones Tuesday’s Lakers-Clippers Game After Kobe’s Death
01/27/2020 4:47pm

The NBA has postponed the Los Angeles Lakers next game against the Clippers on Tuesday night after the deaths of retired superstar Kobe Bryant, his daughter and seven others in a helicopter crash. The league announced the decision Monday. The decision was made out of respect for the Lakers organization, which is deeply grieving the tragic loss of Lakers legend Kobe Bryant, his daughter Gianna and seven other people in a helicopter crash on Sunday, an NBA statement read. Bryants

Kobe Bryant to Be Posthumously Inducted Into Basketball Hall of Fame
01/27/2020 5:23pm

Kobe Bryant is expected to be unanimously elected to the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame, a top official said Monday. Kobe was about to be considered for enshrinement and certainly he would be a slam dunk to be enshrined this August, Hall of Fame President and CEO John Doleva told KTLA sister station WWLP in Springfield, Massachusetts. A memorial to the future Hall of Famer has been set up in the lobby of the Springfield facility and continued to

Kobe Bryant Leaves Behind a Business Empire That Stretched Beyond the Basketball Court
01/27/2020 4:39pm

Kobe Bryantslegacyextends beyond his time on the basketball court. He was also known to the business world as a brand-builder an investor and a coach to other athletes and company founders. Bryant died Sunday in a helicopter crash in Calabasas at the age of 41. For 20 seasons, Kobe showed us what is possible when remarkable talent blends with an absolute devotion to winning, NBA Commissioner Adam Silver said in astatementSunday. He was generous with the wisdom he acquired and

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Fighting Back Tears, Fans Continue to Flock to Kobe Bryant Memorial in Los Angeles
01/28/2020 9:02am

Fans call it The House that Kobe Built, and since Kobe Bryants shocking death in a helicopter crash mourners by the thousands have gathered outside the glistening steel-and-glass edifice where the Los Angeles Lakers legend made so much basketball history. The arrivals at downtown Staples Center began soon after word spread that Bryant and his 13-year-old daughter, Gianna, were among nine people killed in Sundays crash. They continued unabated Monday as people took off from school or work to pay respects to a man with whom many felt a kinship. The memories that he gave us as a family were great memories, said Lawrence Perez or North Hollywood, who arrived with his wife, Maureen, and 15-year-old daughter, Desiree. We could have been at home, but we wanted to be with other people who are kind of going through the same thing.The Lakers had a game scheduled Tuesday night against the LA Clippers at Staples Center but the NBA postponed it out of respect for the Lakers. The next Lakers home game is Friday night against Portland.The Staples Center, home to the Lakers and Clippers, opened for the 1999-2000 season, just as a 21-year-old Bryant was blossoming. That season the team would win the first of five championships over the next 10 years. Although the mood there Monday was often somber as people hugged and wiped away tears, many couldnt help but grin at times as they recalled joyful moments Bryant brought to their lives. The greatest moment was when I got his autograph his rookie year, Perez said, recalling how he told the teenage Bryant he was destined for greatness. Bryant smiled, shook his hand and said he hoped hed just break into the teams starting lineup sometime soon. Perez had planned to bring that ball to Bryants Hall of Fame induction, expected later this year, and ask him to sign it again. But thats not going to happen now, he said softly as his wife hugged him and said, He cried when he heard the news.As people arrived at the arena they were greeted by a gigantic display of flowers, balloons, votive candles some with Bryants photo on them, hats, jerseys, statuettes of angels and photos and paintings of Bryant and his daughter circling the entire area. Some showed father and daughter with angels wings. Others contained personal messages written in English, Spanish and Chinese, showing the international impact Bryants career had. Kobe BryantKobe Bryant4 hours agoKobe Bryant Helicopter Tried to Climb to Avoid Clouds Before CrashKobe Bryant6 hours agoLeBron James Makes First Public Remarks After Death of Kobe BryantI left my shoe for him, said Louie Guerrero of Los Angeles, who arrived at the memorial pushing a stroller with his 2-year-old daughter, Lexie, decked out in her own little Lakers uniform. He spontaneously decided to add one of his official Lakers basketball shoes to the memorial after scribbling on it, We Love You, Kobe. He walked away with only a sock on his left foot. Nearby, Michelle Rodriguez of Los Angeles wiped away a tear as she gazed at photos of Bryant with his daughter and his teammates. The 30-year-old emergency room nurse had arrived with her 12-year-old bulldog, Canelle, after working an overnight shift. Both were wearing Lakers jerseys. I think everyone could say we loved the team as a whole, but it was different when you saw Kobe play, she said. And he was such an awesome man outside of basketball too, she added. All the work he did in the community, hes a hero to this city.

1 Point From Defeat 7 Times, Federer Wins Australian Open QF
01/28/2020 9:56am

MELBOURNE, Australia AP Roger Federer was not going to go gently, of course, no matter how daunting the number of match points his opponent accumulated seven no matter how achy his 38-year-old legs, no matter how slow his serves, no matter how off-target his groundstrokes.Federer still plays for the love of these stages and circumstances. Still yearns for more trophies, too. Down to his very last gasp, time and again, against someone a decade younger, 100th-ranked Tennys Sandgren of the United States, Federer somehow pulled off a memorable comeback to reach the Australian Open semifinals for the 15th time.Despite all sorts of signs he was not quite himself for much of the match, Federer beat the biceps-baring, hard-hitting, court-covering Sandgren 6-3, 2-6, 2-6, 7-6 8, 6-3 on Tuesday in a rollicking quarterfinal that appeared to be over long before it truly was.For the most time there, I thought that was it. Of course, theres little sparkles where maybe not. Then youre like, No, it IS over, 20-time Grand Slam champion Federer said. Only maybe when I won that fourth set did I really think that, maybe, this whole thing could turn around.He said afterward that it had been his groin muscle that was the problem and he couldnt be certain whether he would be fully recovered for his next match. That will come against defending champion Novak Djokovic or No. 32 Milos Raonic, who played later Tuesday. The last two mens quarterfinals are Wednesday: Rafael Nadal vs. Dominic Thiem, and Alexander Zverev vs. Stan Wawrinka.One womens semifinal was set Tuesday: No. 1 Ash Barty, trying to become the first Australian Open singles champion from the host country since the 1970s, against No. 14 Sofia Kenin, a 21-year-old American never before this far at any major tournament.Wednesdays quarterfinals are Simona Halep vs. Anett Kontaveit, and Garbie Muguruza vs. Anastasia Pavlyuchenkova. There was a lot to live up to after the drama of Federer vs. Sandgren.You cant give a good player let alone maybe the best player ever that many chances to come back, said Sandgren, his voice low, his eyes looking down. Theyre going to find their game and start playing well. That seemed to me what happened.In truth, so much had happened.Federer got into a dispute with a line judge and the chair umpire over cursing. He left the court for a medical timeout early in the third set, then was visited by a trainer later for a right leg massage. Sandgren was run into by a ballkid during the changeover at 3-all in the tiebreaker, which he said was physically painful to his right calf but wasnt a big deal. He was distracted by hearing the work of a courtside broadcast commentator. There also was an odd buzz emanating from the chair umpires microphone. Above all, there were all of those match points for Sandgren, a 28-year-old from Tennessee whos never been a major semifinalist and was trying to become the lowest-ranked man in the Australian Opens final four since Patrick McEnroe Johns younger brother was No. 114 in 1991.Imagine, then, the heartbreak for Sandgren, who toiled for years on lower-level tours and was so thrilled just to share the stage with Federer for the first time.Back to the drawing board. Keep working. Keep trying to improve. Maybe Ill get another look, another shot, Sandgren said. Maybe Ill come through.After rolling through the second and third sets as Federers serve dropped from an average of 112 mph to 105 mph Wasnt popping like it does normally, Sandgren observed and Federers unforced errors totaled 30, the underdog led 5-4 in the fourth set.Thats when Sandgren earned his first trio of opportunities to end things and complete a career-defining victory. On one, Sandgren dumped a backhand into the net. On the next, he pushed a forehand wide. On the third, another forehand found the net.Then came four more match points in the tiebreaker. But Sandgren failed to close the deal at 6-3 or at 6-4 or at 6-5 or at 7-6.Honestly, when they told me seven, I was like, What I thought it was three, Federer said. Its such a blur.On Federers own second chance to take that set and force a fifth, Sandgren hit a ball that landed near the baseline. Federer thought it might be out he turned to look at a line judge for a call that never came yet barely flicked it back in a defensive manner, and Sandgrens overhead smash went long.Federer wagged his right index finger overhead the universal sign for Im No. 1 and was on the right path. He ended the victory with a service winner at 119 mph, a little more than an hour after first staring down defeat.Just seemed like his level picked up when his back was right up against the wall, said Sandgren, who only got the chance to serve on one of those seven pivotal points. He just wouldnt give me anything. Credit to him, for sure.Federer has won six titles at Melbourne Park and never lost there to anyone ranked worse than 54th. But Sandgren, whose career tour-level record is under .500, played superbly. He won more points than Federer, 161-160. He produced edges of 27-5 in aces, 73-44 in total winners.Other than the first set and the fifth, Federers footwork was hardly perfect, the lower-body push he normally gets to add oomph to forehands and serves nonexistent.At the U.S. Open last September, it was Federers upper back and neck that bothered him in a five-set quarterfinal loss to Grigor Dimitrov, who was ranked 78th at the time.In this tournament, the No. 3-seeded Federer still hasnt played anyone ranked better than No. 41 Filip Krajinovic, whom he beat in the second round. Federer was pushed to the brink in the third round by No. 47 John Millman, two points from defeat before coming back to claim a fifth-set tiebreaker. And in the fourth round, Federer dropped the opening set to No. 67 Marton Fucsovics.On Tuesday, Federer knew exactly the sort of pain Sandgren experienced. As recently as last July, Federer failed to convert a pair of championship points in the fifth set of the Wimbledon final before losing to Djokovic.These ones just sting, and they hurt. If you could, obviously, play them again, would you play them differently Federer said. But I could have blinked at the wrong time and shanked. That would have been it. I was incredibly lucky today.Follow Howard Fendrich on Twitter at http://twitter.com/HowardFendrichMore AP Tennis: https://www.apnews.com/apf-Tennis and https://twitter.com/APSports

Shaquille O’Neal Reveals His Biggest Regret Over Friendship With ‘Brother’ Kobe Bryant
01/28/2020 3:26am

You cant talk about the Los Angeles Lakers history without bringing up Shaquille ONeal and Kobe Bryant. The two dominated the basketball court together from 1996 to 2004 and while they had their share of highs and lows of back then, the two later became like family. When news broke that the 41-year-old NBA superstar had been killed in a helicopter crash in Los Angeles on Sunday, Jan. 26, ONeal took to Instagram to share a touching tribute to the legend that had helped him and the Lakers secure three consecutive NBA Championships from 2000 to 2002.There are no words to express the pain Im going through right now with this tragic and sad moment of losing my niece Gigi &my friend, my brother, my partner in winning championships, my dude and my homie, ONeal wrote, alongside a series of pictures of him and Bryant on and off the court. On Monday, ONeal paid tribute to his longtime friend on his podcast The Big Podcast With Shaq, opening up about the moment he found out about Kobes death, thinking it was a hoax, reaching out to Bryants wife, Vanessa Bryant, and how his shocking death is going to hurt for a long, long time.Kobe Bryant: Life in PhotosIm not doing well. Im sick. Im just getting over the death of my sister I havent been sleeping since her death, because its just, you know, not thinking about just the good times but thinking about the times where I couldve done something, or I couldve said something, or I couldve loved them more, or I couldve shown them more support, ONeal says. And the same thing hit when I found out this news. I was downstairs working out with Shaqir when my other son showed me the TMZ clip. The 47-year-old adds that when his son showed him the footage of the helicopter crash scene, he yelled at him to get that s out of my face because he figured it was just a hoax. I didnt want to believe it, he continues. Then everybodys calling me, Is that true Is it true So Im like, it must not be a hoax because the whole world knows this information. So now Im saying, please dont be true. Please dont be true, please dont be true. And Im watching and then you get the confirmation. Sad enough and then you know his daughter was with him. I didnt do anything. I havent eaten. I havent slept. Im looking at all the tapes. Im sick right now. During the podcast episode, the retired NBA player also shared what his relationship with Bryant was like.Our relationship was that of brothers. We are brothers, he continues. When I saw Kobe and his daughters, loved them. When he saw my kids, loved them. If you looked at my kids Instagram he talked to Shareef ONeal yesterday morning so all the stuff that is documented between us, it was never a dislike, its just, listen, this is what brothers do. I have a younger brother, we fight all the time but guess what I love him.He adds, And I love Kobe Bryant. Im the first say hey, I got four rings and I know I couldnt have gotten three without him Im glad we became closer. But I just sit back and say, what if. What ifONeals 20-year-old son, Shareef, also took to Instagram to share the screenshots of Bryant privately messaging him to check in on him.Im crying while reading these messages over, the young basketball player wrote. Even when I was at my worst you checked in on me so often, I really appreciate you for that.The former Laker continued, I know hes going to be remembered and all that stuff but I just wish he was here. I just wish I could say something to him.ONeal also shared that he reached out to Vanessa on Sunday and spoke to her sister to offer his condolences. My heart goes out to Vanessa because she lost two. She lost her beautiful Gigi who was born on the same day as my 13-year-old and thats what really hurts, he says. Stuff like this will always hurt.When asked if theres anything he wishes he could have done differently, ONeal answered, I wish I wouldve communicated more. But again, thats just how we are. He explains, Of course, when we saw each other it was love and respect and he looked out for the kids and I kept an eye on his daughter Gigi, she was a fabulous player. I just wish I couldve talked to him like before. Thats it. Everything that happened, happened. A lot of people like to look at the negative side but as a Laker fan, the plan worked out perfectly. We won three in a row.This article first appeared on eonline.com. More from eonline:Ellen DeGeneres Urges Kobe Bryants Fans to Celebrate Life in Tearful SpeechLeBron James Reveals Final Conversation With Kobe Bryant Just Hours Before Fatal Helicopter CrashThe BachelorIs An Actual Mess Right NowThis story uses functionality that may not work in our app. Click here to open the story in your web browser.

In #MeToo Era, Kobe and Other Athletes Often Get a Pass
01/28/2020 8:13am

Folded conveniently into the narratives about his complicated past was the detail about Kobe Bryant that couldve wrecked him.It was a rape allegation by a 19-year-old employee of a hotel. It happened in 2003. Some argued that making that life-altering detail a mere footnote to the stories detailing Bryants life and unexpected death was the human thing to do on such an awful day. Others felt it was another example of an icon being given a pass of sorts because he was a successful athlete.While dozens of high-profile figures including senators, movie producers, news anchors and comedians but not the president or the newest Supreme Court justice have seen their careers vanquished by allegations of sex abuse and domestic violence, high-profile sports figures have skated past similar accusations at a far more frequent rate. We look up to them to win games, said Miki Turner, a longtime journalist who is now a professor at USCs Annenberg School for Communication and Journalism. But we dont really scrutinize their values as closely as we might for politicians or news anchors. I think theres just a different line there.Heres a quick list from the recent past: relief pitcher Roberto Osuna, soccer star Cristiano Ronaldo, running back Ezekiel Elliott, quarterbacks Jameis Winston and Ben Roethlisberger, Sacramento Kings coach Luke Walton and Super Bowl 54-bound receiver Tyreek Hill of the Chiefs. All are among the sports stars who have had stomach-churning allegations leveled against them but have skirted major repercussions from their leagues, the teams, law enforcement or, in large part, in the court of public opinion. Theres something about the instant gratification of having a game that night versus, say, being an actor and taking a year to make a movie, says Courtney Cox, a former ESPN staffer who teaches a class on race and gender in sport at University of Oregon. If sports stars are treated differently, part of that is the instant way theyre visible, and the way they are able to rectify and rebrand themselves by the final buzzer of the next game. In other words, winning makes up for a lot.The case of troubled receiver Antonio Brown could be instructive. He was released by the Patriots earlier this season when rape allegations surfaced. The NFL is investigating the charges, and not until that is over will we know what appetite teams might have to sign him. Among the central questions in the Bryant story, and how his life is being remembered, is whether the pass he received in the obituaries and tributes was more about the passage of time than any bias toward him, or athletes in general. Its been 17 years since the allegations. A good section of Bryants fan base either wasnt born, or was barely able to understand the news, when reports of his case first surfaced. And yet, here we are in the metoo era, in which everyones past is easily researched on Google, and any transgression or poorly thought-out meme on social media is not only discoverable, but has the potential to change the narrative for any celebrity. Allegations of sex abuse are leveled with greater frequency against the rich and famous more of the accusers, but certainly not all, are increasingly treated with greater respect, and their complaints are being taken more seriously. I dont know if something like that happened now, even with Kobe Bryant, if people would be as forgiving in this current climate, Turner said.But Bryant was a sports celebrity, not a movie or media star, and that reality almost certainly impacts the calculus, regardless of era. Sometimes, its OK to not have a right answer, Cox said. Were all very morally righteous with our Twitter fingers. The idea of the black-and-whiteness of it all. But its not that easy. We grieve family members who had problematic pasts. But with athletes, it seems like we need a neat, tidy story even when its not always there.For celebrities who arent athletes dont play a game every other night, arent as frequently accessible for the media and, so, dont have as many chances to shift the conversation the story lines arent as malleable.The torrent of allegations against movie producer Harvey Weinstein in 2017 marked a turning point in the metoo era. Hollywood and, to some extent, Washington, took the brunt of the blame. Kevin Spacey, Louis C.K., Al Franken, Matt Lauer, Charlie Rose and Placido Domingo are a small part of a list of more than 250 public figures in entertainment, politics and media who have been accused of wrongdoing since the start of metoo. The majority have seen their careers either stymied or completely brought to a halt. Theres very little doubt over which paragraph in their obituaries will contain details about the lowest moments of their lives. Harvey WeinsteinJan 25Week 1 of Weinstein Trial: Vile Allegations, X-Rated GiftsWomen&039s MarchJan 19Thousands Gather for Womens March Rallies Across USAnd while nobody sheds any tears about that, theres an argument to be made that, with some exceptions, such as Woody Allen and Donald Trump, the leagues, the law and the public have meted out a different kind of judgement for them than for their brethren in sports. Bryants case was litigated both in the media and the courtroom. But the case never went to trial, and though sponsors cut ties with Bryant in the aftermath, his losses didnt last long. Bryant walked away from his charges chastened and clearly a changed man. He issued an apology through his attorney and later settled a civil case brought by his accuser. He missed a few games while attending hearings in the case, but the best of his career, and his life, was still to come. In the 17 years that followed, Bryant became a father of four girls and a vocal champion of women in sports. He became even better known for his alpha-male psyche and his uncompromising work ethic. To some, he is the GOAT Greatest Of All Time in a sport that triggers plenty of discussion about that title. But thats not the only part of his legacy thats open for debate.

Kobe Helicopter Tried to Climb to Avoid Clouds Before Crash
01/28/2020 5:40am

The pilot of the helicopter that crashed near Los Angeles, killing former NBA superstar Kobe Bryant andeight others, told air traffic controllers in his last radio message that he was climbing to avoid a cloud layer before plunging more than 1,000 feet 305 meters into a hillside, an accident investigator said.Radar indicated the helicopter reached a height of 2,300 feet 701 meters Sunday morning before descending, and the wreckage was found at 1,085 feet 331 meters, Jennifer Homendy of the National Transportation Safety Board said during a news conference Monday afternoon.NTSB investigators went to the crash site in Calabasas on Monday to collect evidence.The debris field is pretty extensive, Homendy said.A piece of the tail is down the hill, she said. The fuselage is on the other side of that hill. And then the main rotor is about 100 yards 91 meters beyond that.Some experts suggested that the pilot might have gotten disoriented because of fog but Homendy said investigating teams would look at everything from the pilots history to the engines.We look at man, machine and the environment, she said. And weather is just a small portion of that.The pilot had asked for and received special clearance to fly in heavy fog just minutes before the crash and was flying at 1,400 feet 427 meters when he went south and then west, Homendy said.The pilot then asked for air traffic controllers to provide flight following radar assistance but was told the craft was too low for that assistance, Homendy said.About four minutes later, the pilot advised they were climbing to avoid a cloud layer, she said. When ATC asked what the pilot planned to do, there was no reply. Radar data indicates the helicopter climbed to 2,300 feet 701 meters and then began a left descending turn. Last radar contact was around 9:45 a.m.Two minutes later, someone on the ground called 911 to report the crash.Randy Waldman, a helicopter flight instructor who teaches at the nearby Van Nuys airport, said a disoriented pilot might have only moments to avoid a fatal dive.If youre flying visually, if you get caught in a situation where you cant see out the windshield, the life expectancy of the pilot and the aircraft is maybe 10, 15 seconds, and it happens all the time, and its really a shame, Waldman said.Some experts raised questions of whether the helicopter should have even been flying. The weather was so foggy that the Los Angeles Police Department and the county sheriffs department had grounded their own choppers.The Sikorsky S-76 killed the retired athlete along with his 13-year-old daughter Gianna and everyone else aboard and scattering debris over an area the size of a football field.Crews recovered three bodies on Sunday and resumed the effort on Monday amid an outpouring of grief and shock around the world over the loss of the basketball great who helped lead the Los Angeles Lakers to five NBA titles during his dazzling20-year career.The pilot was identified as Ara Zobayan. He was the chief pilot for Island Express Helicopters, the aircrafts owner, the company said in a statement.Ara has been with the company for over 10 years and has over 8,000 flight hours, the company said, adding that it was working closely with the NTSB to investigate the crash.Zobayan was commercially certified as a pilot and certified as a flight instructor, Homendy said.Several aviation experts said it is not uncommon for helicopter pilots to be given such permission, though some thought it unusual that it would be granted in airspace as busy as that over Los Angeles.But Kurt Deetz, who flew for Bryant dozens of times in the same chopper that went down, said permission is often granted in the area.It happened all the time in the winter months in LA, Deetz said. You get fog.The helicopter left Santa Ana in Orange County, south of Los Angeles, shortly after 9 a.m., heading north and then west. Bryant was believed to be headed for his youth sports academy in nearby Thousand Oaks, which was holding a basketball tournament Sunday in which Bryants daughter, known as Gigi, was competing.Air traffic controllers noted poor visibility around Burbank to the north and Van Nuys to the northwest. At one point, the controllers instructed the chopper to circle because of other planes in the area before proceeding.The aircraft crashed about 30 miles 48 kilometers northwest of downtown Los Angeles. When it struck the ground, it was flying at about 184 mph 296 kph and descending at a rate of more than 4,000 feet per minute, according to data from Flightradar24.Waldman said the same thing happened to John F. Kennedy Jr. when his plane dropped out of the sky near Marthas Vineyard, Massachusetts, in 1999.A lot of times somebody whos doing it for a living is pressured to get their client to where they have to go, Waldman said. They take chances that maybe they shouldnt take.Bryant had been known since his playing days for taking helicopters instead of braving the notoriously snarled Los Angeles traffic. Im not going into LA without the Mamba chopper, he joked on Jimmy Kimmel Live in 2018, referring to his own nickname, Black Mamba.David Hoeppner, an expert on helicopter design, said he wont fly on helicopters.Part of it is the way they certify and design these things, said Hoeppner, a retired engineering professor at the University of Utah. But the other part is helicopter pilots often fly in conditions where they shouldnt be flying.Jerry Kidrick, a retired Army colonel who flew helicopters in Iraq and now teaches at Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University in Prescott, Arizona, said the helicopters rapid climb and fast descent suggest the pilot was disoriented.When that happens, he said, pilots must instantly switch from visual cues to flying the aircraft using only the machines instruments.Its one of the most dangerous conditions you can be in, Kidrick said. Oftentimes, your body is telling you something different than what the instruments are telling you. You can feel like youre leaning to the left or the right when youre not. If the pilot isnt trained well enough to believe the instruments, you get in a panic situation.Kobe Bryant6 hours agoLeBron James Makes First Public Remarks After Death of Kobe BryantKobe Bryant5 hours agoLakers Next Game Postponed After Kobe Bryants DeathOn Sunday, firefighters hiked in with medical equipment and hoses, and medical personnel rappelled to the site from a helicopter. About 20 investigators were on the site early Monday. The Los Angeles County medical examiner, Dr. Jonathan Lucas, said it could take at least a couple of days to to recover the remains.Among those killed in the crash were John Altobelli, 56, longtime head coach of Southern Californias Orange Coast College baseball team his wife, Keri and daughter, Alyssa, who played on the same basketball team as Bryants daughter and Christina Mauser, a girls basketball coach at a Southern California elementary school.Condon reported from New York and Koenig from Dallas. Associated Press writer Brian Melley also contributed to this story.

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