Former President Barack Obama spoke at a brunch in his hometown of Chicago which hosted this past weekend’s All-Star festivities.
What We Know:
- The NBA league continued to honor Kobe Bryant, this time by renaming the All-Star Game MVP award after the former Laker icon.
- Obama previously mentioned Bryant and Gianna’s death as well as the former commissioner David Stern who died on New Year’s Day after suffering a brain hemorrhage. Obama told CNN anchor Wolf Blitzer, “that loss [of Kobe Bryant] is something I know many are still grappling with.” He also said, “particularly Kobe, because he was with his daughter and those families and those children and those of us who have had the joy and privilege of being parents and taking kids to ball games and then rooting for our children and seeing our dreams and hopes passed on to them. Nothing is more heartbreaking. And so I want to offer the NBA family Michelle and my deepest condolences and obviously the families of the Sterns and the Bryants.”
- On January 26, after the helicopter crash that took the lives of Bryant, his daughter, and seven others, Obama and many of Bryant’s famous friends led tributes to the victims. Obama tweeted, “Bryant was just getting started in what would have been just as meaningful a second act.”
- Bryant, Gianna, and the seven victims which included sports coaches Christina Mauser, John Altobelli, two teenagers and Gianna’s teammates Alyssa Altobelli, Payton Chester, parents Sarah Chester, Keri Altobelli and pilot Ara Zobayan all died when the helicopter struck the hillside and burst into flames.
- Adam Silver the current NBA commissioner, felt it was important to recognize Stern the founder of the All-Star weekend at the NBA All-Star Game. Silver served as a deputy commissioner to the late Stern and viewed him as a mentor. Silver said, “he was a force of nature for all of those who knew him. A transformational figure.” Silver is also mourning the loss of the man who built the Staples Stadium. He said, “no one embodies All-Star more than Kobe Bryant.”
A public memorial will be held for Bryant and Gianna on February 24th. Fans are able to buy the tickets on a Ticketmaster verified fansite. Organizers say that proceeds from the sales will go to Mamba & Mambacita Sports Foundation which aims to keep Bryant and Gianna’s legacy alive in youth sports.