‘Legends never die’: Fans pay tribute 1 year after Kobe Bryant’s death

USC+student+Jett+Sacks+visits+Kobe+Bryant+and+Gianna+Bryant+mural+on+Pico+Blvd%2C+honoring+the+one+year+anniversary+of+their+deaths.+Sacks+is+wearing+Bryants+high+school+jersey+in+his+honor+on+Jan.+26%2C+2021+Photo+credit%3A+Emily+Melgar

USC student Jett Sacks visits Kobe Bryant and Gianna Bryant mural on Pico Blvd, honoring the one year anniversary of their deaths. Sacks is wearing Bryant’s high school jersey in his honor on Jan. 26, 2021 Photo credit: Emily Melgar

Emily Melgar

Fans across Southern California honored the late basketball legend and former Laker, Kobe Bryant, on Jan. 26. On the anniversary of his tragic death, hundreds of people visited the various Bryant murals displayed throughout Los Angeles.

Kobe Bryant, his daughter Gianna Bryant and seven other people were killed in a helicopter crash that shocked the world a year ago that day.

Since his death, hundreds of murals have popped up throughout Southern California, and fans have used them as a way to mourn the loss.

As fans remembered him, people flocked to the sites of the murals to pay their respects.

A young entrepreneur, Rasha Omar, spent all day selling Bryant merchandise at one mural located at 1336 Lebanon St near Staples Center.

Omar says Kobe Bryant was a legend in LA and decided to put him on her hoodies and merchandise, 3DStylz, as a way to honor him.

Bryant’s death impacted Omar greatly, saying she remembers exactly where she was and what she was doing when she found out.

“It was a big shock,” Omar said, “You don’t expect someone like that to die. Legends never die.”

Omar added that the death of Bryant’s daughter, Gianna, was incredibly distressing. She noted that the world would never know what she could have done for women’s basketball.

Despite the terrible circumstances, Omar said it was nice for everyone to come throughout the day and show their love for Bryant.

Omar said one woman drove all the way up from San Diego to visit the mural.

“They are gone, but they will never be forgotten,” Omar said.

Loyal fan Jett Sacks, a USC student, visited several murals on a break between classes.

In addition to the mural at 1336 Lebanon St, by artist @never1959, he skateboarded to another mural at 400 W Pico Blvd, by artist @sloe_motions.

Sacks paid his respects and mourned the loss of his favorite basketball player.

Sacks remembers thinking the news of Bryant’s death was “fake at first.”

“I thought he’d be the one person to survive,” Sacks said. “Then when we found out his daughter was with him too,  it was an extra punch in the gut”.

Sacks was one of many fans who visited several murals, just like father and son Marcus and Anthony Bryan from Glendora.

Marcus Bryan said he loves basketball and was a Bryant fan for 25 years.

He decided to bring his seven-year-old son to see the murals on the anniversary of Bryant’s death.

Bryan said the day of Bryant’s death was fresh in his memory.

“I remember every minute of that day,” he said.

Bryan was extremely saddened by Bryant’s sudden passing, explaining that even though he never met the basketball legend, it felt like losing someone in his family.

Kobe Bryant’s 20-year basketball career was playing for the Los Angeles Lakers. His legacy will live on through his fans.