In the aftermath of Kobe Bryant’s tragic passing, many celebrities, fans and organizations have paid touching tributes to him and his family. Among these was a statement from Ellen DeGeneres – who had been marking her birthday as news of the NBA legend’s demise broke. But when the TV host began her speech, she simply couldn’t hold back her tears.
At the time of his death, Bryant had been traveling via helicopter to a basketball game, where he would have coached his daughter Gianna’s team. But the S-76B aircraft crashed into a hill, and all on board were killed. These were Bryant, 13-year-old Gianna, pilot Ara Zobayan, Alyssa Altobelli (aged 14), Alyssa’s parents, John and Keri Altobelli, Payton Chester (aged 13), her mother, Sarah, and assistant coach Christina Mauser.