The death of Kobe Bryant has shocked the world. Now, among the countless tributes, Sylvester Stallone has chipped in – saying the basketball legend should get a statue next to Rocky in Philadelphia.
On January 26, Bryant, 41, and his 13-year-old daughter Gianna, as well as seven others, died in a helicopter crash in Calabasas, California.
While the late icon never played for the Philadelphia 76ers, he did grow up in the city, as well as attending Lower Merion High School. In order to honour the Los Angeles Lakers player, people think he should have a statue next to Rocky’s – and Stallone agrees.
As Sylvester posed for photographers and reporters, TMZ asked the Rambo star if he thinks the NBA legend should get a place next to Rocky in Philly. He responded: ‘Absolutely.’
It’s just one of the touching sentiments that have emerged from the loss of the sports icon, as people all over the world pay their tributes online.
Vanessa Bryant, the player’s wife, has since launched the MambaOnThree Fund, a fundraising initiative established by the Mamba Sports Foundation to support the other grieving families.
Taking to Instagram just days after the crash, Vanessa wrote:
My girls and I want to thank the millions of people who’ve shown support and love during this horrific time. Thank you for all the prayers. We definitely need them.
We are completely devastated by the sudden loss of my adoring husband, Kobe – the amazing father of our children; and my beautiful, sweet Gianna – a loving, thoughtful, and wonderful daughter, and amazing sister to Natalia, Bianka, and Capri.
We are also devastated for the families who lost their loved ones on Sunday, and we share in their grief intimately.
On Friday, January 31, the Los Angeles Lakers played the Portland Trail Blazers in their first game since the loss of Bryant. While they may have lost, the night will be remembered for the heartwarming tributes paid to their lost player – particularly in a poignant speech by LeBron James.
Speaking before the game, James said:
This is a celebration of the 20 years of the blood, the sweat, the tears, the broken-down body, the getting up, the sitting down, the everything, the countless hours, the determination to be as great as he could be. Tonight we celebrate the kid who came here at 18 years of age, retired at 38 and became probably the best dad we’ve seen over the last three years.
More than three million people have also signed a petition calling on the NBA to ‘immortalise’ Bryant in the form of a new logo.
If you have experienced a bereavement and would like to speak with someone in confidence contact Cruse Bereavement Care via their national helpline on 0808 808 1677.