TNT Celebrates Kobe Bryant's Life and Career at Staples Center, and NBA Fans Are in Awe

Tonight's celebration of the life and career of the late Kobe Bryant helped bring fans some closure this evening. Ahead of this evening's Celtics-Heat game, TNT aired an hour-long NBAonTNT as a tribute to Bryant. It was a toned-down affair, where the show's many hosts came together to share their memories of Bryant and support one another in the wake of his death Sunday morning in a helicopter crash.

The show was live from Staples Center, where Bryant's two jersey numbers, 8 and 24, were retired by the Lakers after he retired from the NBA back in 2016. Needless to say, Bryant's considerable fanbase couldn't hold back their emotions on Twitter.

"Can't take my eyes away from the screen," wrote one user, while another tweeted that "the hurt that so many people are feeling right now is astounding, but in turn says so much about Kobe Bryant as a human being." A third added that they thought the tribute "was going to be well-produced pieces and riveting stories. Instead, it is seven guys talking with no other video... and it is unbelievable how good it is."

Not long after news of Bryant's death, it was confirmed that his 13-year-old daughter, Gianna, was among the victims of the crash. Six other passengers on board were also killed, which included John Altobelli, Keri Altobelli, Alyssa Altobelli, Sarah Chester, Payton Chester, Christina Mauseras as well as the pilot, Ara Zobayan.

As of Tuesday morning, investigators have revealed that all nine of the bodies have been uncovered from the crash site. The reason for the crash is still unknown, although there was a considerable fog that morning. Some other local pilots have theorized that Zobayan, a veteran pilot himself, may have misjudged the mountainous terrain he was flying over.

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Due to the lack of a black box on the helicopter flight, the National Transportation Safety Board has asked anyone with photos of the weather around the Calabasas area to email them to witness@ntsb.gov to help aid in the investigation.

If you missed the TNT celebration tonight, there will be a special tribute to Bryant held at The Academy Awards on Sunday, Feb. 9. Off the court, the former NBA star was known for his occasional forays into entertainment, including the 2017 Oscar-winning animated short, Dear Basketball.