For decades, Kobe Bryant has identified the Los Angeles Lakers. He shaped their future, too.


The last time Los Angeles Lakers defender Kobe Bryant played an N.B.A. Games, he went out to take pictures. That is April 13, 2016and Bryant scored 60 points, enjoyed the crowd of Staples Center, including actor Jack Nicholson and rapper Snoop Dogg. He fired his gun from afar without conscience, showing very little wear and tear that nearly 60,000 professional basketball minutes had placed on him.

That kind of performance has become rare for Bryant when he moved from one of the most active players in basketball history to an elderly politician willing to pass the torch on to the next generation. His resume, with a prize of the most valuable player, in N.B.A. Championship and 18 All-Star selections, are among the most impressive in the tournament's history.

Bryant, who retired after that 2016 match, died on Sunday in a helicopter crash near Calabasas, Calif., Northwestern Los Angeles, with his 13-year-old daughter, Gianna, and seven others. The news caused a shock wave throughout the basketball world on a day when more than half of the teams of the 30-team tournament were expected to play.

Shortly after this news broke out, it was announced that defender Nets Kyrie Irving, who was close to Bryant, would play in his match against his Sunday team against Knicks at Madison Square Garden. Before the match between Houston Rockets and Denver Nuggets, a public address announcer informed the crowd of Bryant's death, and called for a moment of silence. After listing …



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