Former Vice President Joe Biden paid tribute to Kobe Bryant on Sunday afternoon on the campaign trail. Biden was speaking in Iowa, one of the swing states expected to decide the 2020 presidential election, as news of Bryant's death spread. Like so many others, Biden was heartbroken.
Bryant passed away suddenly on Sunday morning when his helicopter went down in southern California. He was flying with his 13-year-old daughter, Gianna, and six other passengers in addition to the pilot. There were no survivors.
Biden remembered Bryant for his legacy both on and off the court. In his brief statement, he advised the crowd to "make every day count."
"You've got to make every day count."January 26, 2020
"As I was getting off the bus to come in, I heard about Kobe Bryant," Biden said. "I didn't know him well, I only met him a couple of times, but you know, it makes you realize that you've got to make every day count. Every single solid day. Every day count."
Biden later made another statement on Twitter, saying that he and his wife, Jill were praying for Bryant's family and the families of the other victims in the crash.
"It's a reminder that we've got to make every day count," he wrote.
Jill and I are sending our prayers to the Bryant family and to everyone who lost loved ones in today’s crash. It’s a reminder of how special — and fragile — life is. And it’s a reminder that we’ve got to make every day count.— Joe Biden (Text Join to 30330) (@JoeBiden) January 26, 2020
Other presidential candidates spoke out about the tragedy as well, including Senator Elizabeth Warren and Mayor Pete Buttigieg. Bryant's death sent a shockwave through the nation, both for its shocking suddenness and its abrupt end to a beloved public figure.
Bryant took the NBA by storm in 1997, when he was signed right out of high school. He was initially tied to teammate Shaquille O'Neal, but quickly built a reputation of his own as well. Bryant became a star off the court at the same time, appearing on TV and releasing hip hop music.
As he grew older, Bryant was beloved for the way he exemplified family values. He and his wife met when they were young, and they had four children together. Their youngest, Capri, was born in June of 2019.
Bryant was well known for traveling throughout Los Angeles by private helicopter. In a 2018 interview on The Corp, he explained that he chose to commute by air to maximize the time he could spend with his daughters.
"My wife was like 'listen, I can pick them up,'" Bryant recalled. "I'm like, 'No no no! I want to do that.' Because you know, you have road trips and times when you don't see your kids, man. So like, every time I got the chance to see them and spend time with them, even if it's 20 minutes in the car... like, I want that."