Fans Chant 'Kobe Bryant' as They Gather Around Staples Center to Mourn Loss of Lakers Legend - Lakers Daily

Fans Chant ‘Kobe Bryant’ as They Gather Around Staples Center to Mourn Loss of Lakers Legend

Lakers Fans Mourn Kobe Bryant Dania Maxwell / Los Angeles Times

In the immediate aftermath of Kobe Bryant’s stunning death, fans of both Bryant and the Los Angeles Lakers have converged at Staples Center in Los Angeles.

Bryant and eight other people, including his 13-year-old daughter, Gianna, were killed in a helicopter crash on Sunday morning.

News of Bryant’s death predictably sparked countless tributes on social media, with fans in the Los Angeles market simply coming to the arena where Bryant played the bulk of his home games over a 20-year career. Bryant’s first three seasons took place at the Great Western Forum.

The drastic change in emotions for fans of the Lakers is in contrast to the joy they’d been experiencing this season with the resurgence of the team.

Even with a loss on Saturday night, the Lakers still have the best record in the Western Conference at 36-10. That mark puts the Lakers on track for their first playoff appearance since 2013, a squad of which Bryant was apart.

During his 20 seasons, Bryant was a centerpiece of five NBA title teams, with fans hoping that this year’s team can pay tribute to his legendary status with another championship.