Editorial

Lakers Coach Frank Vogel Says Kobe Bryant’s Death Has ‘Brought Us Closer Together’

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David Hookstead Smoke Room Editor-in-Chief
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Los Angeles Lakers head coach Frank Vogel thinks the death of Kobe Bryant has brought the team closer.

The five-time NBA champion with the Lakers was killed Sunday in a helicopter crash in California, and his death has sent shockwaves through the world of sports. Vogel thinks the tragedy has been a unifying event for the team. (RELATED: NBA Legend Kobe Bryant Dies In Helicopter Crash)

 

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I’m Not Ready but here I go. Man I sitting here trying to write something for this post but every time I try I begin crying again just thinking about you, niece Gigi and the friendship/bond/brotherhood we had! I literally just heard your voice Sunday morning before I left Philly to head back to LA. Didn’t think for one bit in a million years that would be the last conversation we’d have. WTF!! I’m heartbroken and devastated my brother!! ????????????????????. Man I love you big bro. My heart goes to Vanessa and the kids. I promise you I’ll continue your legacy man! You mean so much to us all here especially #LakerNation???????? and it’s my responsibility to put this shit on my back and keep it going!! Please give me the strength from the heavens above and watch over me! I got US here! There’s so much more I want to say but just can’t right now because I can’t get through it! Until we meet again my brother!! #Mamba4Life❤️???????? #Gigi4Life❤️????????

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Vogel said the following Wednesday, according to ESPN:

It’s just strengthened what we’ve felt all year about our current group, which is we’ve become a family in a very short time. And it’s something you talk about in the NBA with your teams, but this group in particular has really grown to love each other very rapidly. And we understand the importance and the opportunity that we have this year, and this has just brought us closer together.”

I’d be a little surprised if it didn’t unify the team. Tragedies have a tendency to drive people together.

When you lose a family member or a close friend, people often come together to grieve. It’s just the natural order of events.

 

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Now, the entire Lakers organization is grieving and they’re leaning on each other for help. I’m not surprised at all that the tragedy has pushed them closer together. It makes perfect sense.

 

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My girls and I want to thank the millions of people who’ve shown support and love during this horrific time. Thank you for all the prayers. We definitely need them. We are completely devastated by the sudden loss of my adoring husband, Kobe — the amazing father of our children; and my beautiful, sweet Gianna — a loving, thoughtful, and wonderful daughter, and amazing sister to Natalia, Bianka, and Capri. We are also devastated for the families who lost their loved ones on Sunday, and we share in their grief intimately. There aren’t enough words to describe our pain right now. I take comfort in knowing that Kobe and Gigi both knew that they were so deeply loved. We were so incredibly blessed to have them in our lives. I wish they were here with us forever. They were our beautiful blessings taken from us too soon. I’m not sure what our lives hold beyond today, and it’s impossible to imagine life without them. But we wake up each day, trying to keep pushing because Kobe, and our baby girl, Gigi, are shining on us to light the way. Our love for them is endless — and that’s to say, immeasurable. I just wish I could hug them, kiss them and bless them. Have them here with us, forever. Thank you for sharing your joy, your grief and your support with us. We ask that you grant us the respect and privacy we will need to navigate this new reality. To honor our Team Mamba family, the Mamba Sports Foundation has set up the MambaOnThree Fund to help support the other families affected by this tragedy. To donate, please go to MambaOnThree.org. To further Kobe and Gianna’s legacy in youth sports, please visit MambaSportsFoundation.org. Thank you so much for lifting us up in your prayers, and for loving Kobe, Gigi, Natalia, Bianka, Capri and me. #Mamba #Mambacita #GirlsDad #DaddysGirls #Family ❤️

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I honestly can’t even imagine what must be happening behind closed doors in that organization right now. It must be absolutely brutal.

NBA superstars aren’t supposed to die at the age of 41. They’re supposed to be around for years and years.

Kobe’s death is a tragedy all the way around, and there’s no doubt he’ll be greatly missed.