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Dodgers: Justin Turner, Kenley Jansen, Organization React to News of Kobe Bryant’s Passing

I don’t want to be writing this, but #MambaMentaility tells me to be stronger and put in the work. On Sunday, the world was shocked by the passing of Los Angeles legend and world icon Kobe Bean Bryant. The 18-time NBA All-Star spent his entire career with the Los Angeles Lakers.

He came into the league as a scrawny 18 year-old kid out of Lower Merion High School in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. In his 20 years in the game, his legacy was built as a pillar of not only Los Angeles sports, but the city itself.

As we lost Kobe as well as his 13 year-old daughter Gianna in a tragic aircraft accident on Sunday, the weight of the tragedy created a feeling so somber, even the sun never fully showed its face on an overcast January day.

Beyond the feeling of this writer — and I feel I speak for the entirety of Dodgers Nation as well — the sports world took to social media to mourn the passing of a legend.

Here we’ll focus on Dodgers players (both current and former), as well as organizational members that shared their feelings with a contemporary, and in some cases, a friend.

Making this Tweet even more devastating was the fact that less than a day earlier, Kobe had sent a message to Dodgers outfielder Cody Bellinger from one MVP to another.

As the news was unfortunately confirmed, more Dodger reactions rolled in.

Most devastating in all of this that it wasn’t just Kobe take from us in the accident… the lives of 8 more people were taken from this world, including a local collegiate baseball coach and his daughter, and Gianna Bryant, Kobe’s daughter. As that hit us all in the gut, more Dodgers felt the gravity of the entirety of the news.

While Mamba may not have had a deep, personal connection with each organizational member he may have encountered along the way, he still took the time with everyone he could.

As we all continue to unpack and process this tragedy, we also take a moment to be thankful.

Thank you, Kobe. Thank you for everything you’ve done for Los Angeles over the years. And thank you for everything that will continue to be done because of you even after you’re gone.

Written by Clint Pasillas

Clint is the lead editor of Dodgers Nation, and a host and analyst on Dodgers Nation's own Blue Heaven podcast live stream.

He's been writing, blogging, and podcasting Dodgers since about 2008. He was there for Nomar, Greg Maddux, and Blake DeWitt, and he'll be there for Walker Buehler, Alex Verdugo, Dustin May, and any Dodgers of the future.

He's also a sandwich enthusiast, a consummate athlete, and a friend.

12 Comments

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  1. I cried all day. This is just too sad and messed up for everybody and especially his family and those close and all the other people on that helicopter and their family. Nothing else matters to me anymore

  2. Bro I feel your pain. Just devastating with all the people involved. I’m a lucky man as I have a extremely gifted athletic daughter who I had the chance to coach like Koby was doing with his. She called me crying, and told me and I took it hard but was pretty good. Then after, I found out his girl died with him, that’s when I lost it . Koby and the Lakers made getting up and going to work tolerable for me because he could will a team into a championship! I bring up the Lakers quite often on here , and it hurts watching our heroes fall. But the Almighty has greater plans for all of us, and shows all of us just how insignificant sports and our own selfishness can be. We were all blessed to have had the Mamba in L.A. and give us all of those championships. I truly hope all L.A. teams will adopt his Championship or nothing winning mentality. He used to say he played only to win it all every year, anything less was a failure. That’s what I love about the guy! Why do it at all if you don’t go all out for the championship! He told Dr Buss that if he was going to rebuild after Shaq left then to trade him! RIP. Mamba!!!!!!!!!

  3. Sad to see anyone go out like that, but come on, he was just a basketball player, get a grip.

    Oh yeah, there was that rape charge where he paid off the girl to silence her rather than man up and go to court.

    …. which occurred while he was married … and a father.

    Not my idea of “great”.

  4. Hoping others follow this incredible mans model. What I loved about the guy was his work ethic and his idealism about greatness and championships! He stressed many times that winning championships was all that mattered, and if you didn’t win that year it was a failure! He willed his team and organization to not only be excellent, but to not accept losing! He was one of the few athletes that was self educated, could speak ,3 languages fluently and even won a Grammy after b- ball! Kobe helped me go to work some days when I felt exhausted, I would remember his work ethic and desire to win each day, each game, each championship! Being a father of a athletic daughter myself, getting to coach her, its heart breaking he didn’t get to finish that chapter! But the Almighty took him, and had greater plans!! Go Lakers, what a blessing we were all given as Lakers fans!!! RIP Mamba!

  5. What’s bothersome is that according to experts this was avoidable and the guy flying the helicopter completely panicked and did everything he wasn’t supposed to in that situation

  6. Pray for those left behind that they find peace after such a loss. Man, it will take a long time. The reality is numbing. Four families devastated. Just too much.

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