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Crosby Mourns Loss of ‘Legend’ Kobe, Others In Crash



The Pittsburgh Penguins were hardly immune to the waves of emotion and disbelief that enveloped the sports world – heck, the entire world – when news broke about the helicopter crash that killed former NBA star Kobe Bryant and eight others, including his daughter, Gianna.

The Penguins just didn’t have a chance to react publicly since the tragedy Sunday in California because they were on a bye week. They resumed practice Thursday afternoon at the UPMC Lemieux Sports Complex.

Penguins center Sidney Crosby – a megastar in his sport, just as Bryant was — went through an emotional process that probably was like a lot of people’s.

He was eloquent in recounting it.

“I was shocked,” Crosby said. “I didn’t believe it when I first heard it. I spent a lot of time trying to search and find out if it was true. Once I found out it was true, it’s just heartbreaking for his family, for all the families involved.

“He inspired so many people. He’s a legend. You see the reaction and what he meant to people around the world. I feel for his family and all the families. It’s heartbreaking.”

Crosby has spent some time in his offseasons over the years skating in Los Angeles at the practice facility shared by the NHL’s Kings and the Lakers, with whom Bryant, who was 41, spent his entire NBA career. But Crosby said he never got a chance to meet Bryant.

Neither did Penguins defenseman Kris Letang.

“It’s a tragedy,” Letang said. “A guy that is, like, a legend – I don’t know how to describe it – in so many ways, but he was also a great individual that represented the game and his family really well.

“It’s tragic. It’s tragic also for the families that were also on board. They were all young people that had a life to live. It’s tough. It was tough to see what happened also with his daughter.”

Penguins center Evgeni Malkin, known to be a basketball fan, did not speak with reporters Friday.

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Shelly is a columnist and reporter for Pittsburgh Hockey Now. She was a Penguins beat writer for the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette and remains a contributor to The Hockey News. Catch her on Twitter @_shellyanderson

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King Penguin
King Penguin
2 years ago

Very disturbed about the passing Kobe. I went through this with Clemente, who was idol as a kid. Both had so much more to give. It’s a nightmare that will never go away.

The Binker
The Binker
2 years ago

Kobe was a people person who had the passion and resources to benefit society. A lot of people were cheated here. His life should not have ended this way.

King Penguin
King Penguin
2 years ago

Sid was classy as usual in his thoughts about Kobe. Thanks for posting, Dan.