Kobe Bryant and wife Vanessa Bryant reportedly had a "deal" to never fly in helicopters together before his tragic death at the age of 41 on Sunday, January 26. The couple seemingly made the pact in an effort to make sure their children didn't lose both parents in the event of a crash. Kobe, daughter Gianna and seven others perished when the helicopter they were traveling in slammed into a mountainside in Calabasas, California.
"He and Vanessa had a deal that they would never fly on a helicopter together,” a source told People. In the wake of Kobe and Gianna's death, Vanessa is now faced with raising surviving daughters Natalia, 17, Bianka, 3, and Capri, 7 months, on her own.
The other passengers that lost their lives in the crash were Orange Coast College baseball coach John Altobelli, his wife Keri and their daughter Alyssa, as well as basketball coach Christina Mauser and Gianna's teammate Sarah Chester and her mother Payton. Pilot Ara Zobayan also did not survive.
The exact cause of the crash has yet to be determined, but the heartbreaking flight tower audio was revealed on Monday, January 27. While the flight towers tried to assist in the helicopter’s landing, they cautioned the pilot about the “overcast” weather and the low flight level, as they were dangerously close to the ground. “You’re still too low level for flight following at this time,” the flight tower responder told the pilot just seconds before the crash.
Kobe's untimely passing rocked the basketball community and the world at large. LeBron James was captured on video sobbing as he arrived at LAX after learning about Kobe's death. Tiger Woods' caddie deliberately didn't disclose the tragic news to the golfer until he finished the Farmers Insurance Open. Kanye West held a midnight Sunday Service to honor the late sports legend.
Kobe is set to be posthumously inducted into the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame alongside the class of 2020. The NBA made the decision to postpone the Lakers game against the Clippers on Tuesday, January 28 to allow the players time to grieve.
"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,” the organization said in a press release.
Vanessa has yet to break her silence on the tragedy and no details have been released about funeral arrangements.