The world is still reeling from the passing of Kobe Bryant. An avid basketball fan and son of Chicago, former president Barack Obama used his speech during the NBA All-Star Weekend Newsmaker Brunch to acknowledge Kobe and Gianna Bryant's deaths, as well as the seven others killed during the helicopter accident.
"That loss is something that I know many are still grappling with particularly Kobe because he was with his daughter and those families, and those children," Obama said. "Those of us who have had the joy and privilege of being parents and taking kids to ballgames, and then rooting for our children, and seeing our dreams and hopes passed on to them. Nothing is more heartbreaking."
The former president went on to offer condolences to the NBA and those close to Kobe on behalf of himself and his family.
Bryant was one of the most decorated NBA All-Stars. He was second to only Kareem Abdul-Jabaar in All-Star game appearances. Bryant was also tied for the most All-Star game MVPs in history with 4. As a result, NBA commissioner Adam Silver announced on Saturday that the All-Star MVP trophy has been officially renamed after the late Laker legend.
"We were thinking about what the best way is, one of the ways to honor Kobe," Silver said. "It happened to be that his loss came shortly before we were moving into All-Star festivities. I think one of the things that stands out with Kobe, of course in addition to his five championships, is that he has [made 18 All-Star teams] and tied for the record of four MVPs. To all of us, it seemed like the appropriate way to bring honor to him."