Viewers are reacting after the Oscars 2020 held a special moment of tribute for Kobe Bryant and the other victims of the Calabasas, California helicopter crash. During the 92nd Academy Awards Sunday night, Bryant was the first one shown on the In Memoriam tribute. During it, Billie Eilish performed "Yesterday" by The Beatles.
Afterward, many viewers took to social media to comment on the moment.
Thank you #AcademyAwards I don't know if you changed the rules since Kobe died this year, I heard that the memoriam was just for those who passed in 2019 either way thank you for recognizing him. #Oscars— Talking Through The Medias (@t3medias) February 10, 2020
"Seeing Kobe on the in memoriam at the Oscars hit me like a ton of bricks, still doesn't feel real," one user tweeted.
Seeing Kobe on the in memory of part of the oscars still doesn’t feel real.— Luke (@lnatali1995) February 10, 2020
Sunday night's awards ceremony and the tribute to Bryant came exactly two weeks after the NBA legend, his 13-year-old daughter Gianna, two of her Mamba Sports Academy teammates – Alyssa Altobelli and Payton Chester, and five others were killed in a helicopter the crash. The group, which also included Chester's mother and both of Altobelli's parents, as well as basketball coach Christina Mauser, had been traveling to a basketball game when the Sikorsky S-76 helicopter piloted by Ara Zobayan crashed into a hillside. There were no survivors.
In the days since the tragedy, a number of events have paid tribute to the victims, including the NFL. During the Super Bowl, players for the Kansas City Chiefs and the San Francisco 49ers lined up along the 24-yard line in homage to Bryant’s jersey number as the stadium took part in a moment of silence.
Later during the night, a cross illuminated with yellow and purple lights, the Los Angeles Lakers' colors, appeared on the field during Jennifer Lopez and Shakira's halftime show performance.
Entering the NBA as the 16th overall pick by the Charlotte Hornets, Bryant was immediately traded to the Los Angeles Lakers in exchange for veteran center Vlade Diva. He played for the team for 20 years before retiring in 2016, becoming known as one of the NBA's all-time greats and being named an NBA All-Star 18 times being part of five championship teams
Following his retirement, Bryant continued to show his love for the sport, and in 2018, he took home the Oscar for Best Animated Short Film for his short film Dear Basketball.