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Westlake Legal Group > California

PG&E Has a Survival Plan, and Newsom Has Plan B: A Takeover

Westlake Legal Group 06utility1-facebookJumbo PG&E Has a Survival Plan, and Newsom Has Plan B: A Takeover Wildfires Pacific Gas and Electric Co Newsom, Gavin Electric Light and Power California Bankruptcies

Ferocious wildfires have inflicted several years of death and destruction on California. But they have also presented the state with an opportunity to radically overhaul the company most prominently implicated in the fires, Pacific Gas & Electric.

The most powerful proponent of far-reaching changes, Gov. Gavin Newsom, is threatening a state takeover if the giant utility fails to reshape itself to his liking. With a key deadline approaching in PG&E’s bankruptcy case, the question is whether he is prepared to follow through — and what consequences could follow.

The state is technically on the sidelines in the San Francisco bankruptcy proceeding where PG&E is pressing forward with its own restructuring plan. The company achieved a breakthrough recently in uniting shareholders and creditors behind the plan, which it says would satisfy the claims of wildfire victims as well.

But PG&E has to emerge from bankruptcy by June 30 — on terms acceptable to the governor — in order to take part in a new $20 billion state fund designed to shield large utilities from large wildfire claims. Without that protection, PG&E’s restructuring plan would fall apart and its viability would be in question.

To Mr. Newsom, the company’s plan does not do enough to ensure its financial stability, its operational competence or its corporate integrity. “What I don’t want is a utility that comes out of bankruptcy limping,” he said recently.

It is not clear whether he actually wants to take over PG&E — a long-troubled company that could take years to fix — and make it a ward of the state. His threats could be a negotiating tactic, and the company has moved a little closer to his objectives.

Mr. Newsom said his administration had been conferring daily with PG&E to resolve issues including the governor’s authority in shaping the company’s board and measures to guarantee long-term financial stability. At the same time, he and allies have taken steps that suggest they are serious about a takeover.

The Democratic governor and about a dozen lawmakers have been meeting regularly to plot strategy. And state officials have worked to assure labor unions — a critical political bloc — that a takeover would not jeopardize jobs and benefits.

“We have not just rhetorically discussed a break-the-glass scenario, a Plan B, but we have laid out in detailed terms what that would look like, and we’re working with legislative leaders to advance it in real time,” Mr. Newsom said last week.

On Monday, State Senator Scott Wiener, a Bay Area Democrat, announced legislation to enable the state to take control of PG&E, which provides electricity and gas service to about 16 million people in the northern and central parts of California.

Over a five-year period, the measure would allow the state to revoke PG&E’s franchise agreement, stripping the power company of its utility customers and its core revenue source; to direct a state Power Authority to buy the utility’s electric and gas assets with money that ratepayers would repay over several decades; and to create a seven-member board appointed by local governments in each district.

“I personally believe PG&E has forfeited the privilege to operate as an investor-owned utility,” Mr. Wiener said. “This is a company that is unraveling.”

Exactly how such a solution would play out is unclear. Mr. Wiener’s bill, for example, would allow municipalities to break off pieces of PG&E to form their own utilities. Mr. Newsom has spoken of keeping the company whole.

Putting PG&E under the ownership of the state or its customers would lower its borrowing costs and free up money now spent on stock dividends, according to supporters of such plans. But a takeover would be costly, and it could face legal challenges from the company’s shareholders.

A long battle could in turn delay payments to wildfire victims, many of whom have been waiting more than two years for compensation. And politicians would risk voters’ wrath over management decisions — like the pre-emptive blackouts of millions of customers carried out last year in the name of fire prevention.

“I don’t think taking over PG&E without a plan is necessarily a good idea,” said Bruce Cain, a political-science professor at Stanford University. “It’s a thankless job for a politician to take this over. Most politicians run away.”

A ceremony in November marked the anniversary of the Camp Fire, which devastated the town of Paradise.Credit…Rich Pedroncelli/Associated Press Demonstrators rallied in San Francisco this week against a bill that calls for a state takeover of PG&E, saying it could endanger pensions.Credit…Janie Har/Associated Press

PG&E sought bankruptcy protection a year ago — its second Chapter 11 filing in two decades — with $30 billion in liabilities related to wildfires ignited by the utility’s poorly maintained electrical system. One of the blazes, the Camp Fire, killed 85 people in 2018 and destroyed the town of Paradise.

Local 1245 of the International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers, which represents 12,000 PG&E employees, said this week that it opposed a state takeover. The union has cited complex legal, political and operational challenges, including the development and maintenance of a safe electric grid at a time when climate change has heightened wildfire hazards.

“It’s not an optimal solution for anybody,” said Tom Dalzell, the union’s business manager. “You’re assuming a lot of exposure, and there’s going to be fires.”

It is also not clear that the public would support such a drastic move. In a recent survey for The Los Angeles Times by the Berkeley IGS Poll at the University of California, just 17 percent of voters said they favored a state takeover of PG&E, while an additional 20 percent supported nonprofit city and county cooperatives.

“Certainly the governor can exert his power to effect changes at PG&E,” said Mark DiCamillo, who oversees the polling organization. “A state takeover, that’s a stretch that would be a huge change in public policy. It’s pretty much a long shot.”

The latest version of PG&E’s own proposal includes a shake-up of its board and a safety plan to help prevent wildfires caused by its electrical equipment, both meant to address Mr. Newsom’s concerns.

The utility has reached settlement agreements that include a $13.5 billion fund for wildfire victims, $1 billion to compensate local governments for wildfire expenses and a deal with bondholders, approved Tuesday by the federal bankruptcy judge, Dennis Montali.

PG&E’s proposal has inspired a growing sense of confidence among investors, prompting the company’s stock price to surge to around $17 from a 12-month low of $3.55.

The shares are soaring in part because investors have placed their faith in a regulatory framework that allows utilities to raise rates so that they can earn a set profit margin each year. Over the past decade, PG&E has fallen short of its authorized profit, known as return on equity. PG&E’s supporters say that the last decade was an aberration, marred by disasters and poor management, and that new executives, an overhauled board and an improved safety performance will enable the company to earn its authorized return.

But some question whether the financial strategy is sound.

“The numbers do not add up, unless the money that ratepayers pay increases,” said Loretta Lynch, a former president of the California Public Utilities Commission, which regulates PG&E and other shareholder-owned utilities.

“There’s no way for PG&E to pay off all of the people without raising rates,” she added. “The shareholders aren’t taking a haircut. That’s why Wall Street is excited about this deal, because they don’t have to pay for it.”

The financial performance of PG&E will also affect wildfire victims. Under the bankruptcy plan, half their payment would come in PG&E shares. If the company struggles, the shares could fall in value, reducing the amount the victims ultimately receive. (The shares could rally, however, and give the victims a windfall.)

And PG&E’s plan would leave the company with more debt than it had before it filed for bankruptcy protection, in theory making it more vulnerable to financial stress.

To address that risk, PG&E could sell more stock and take on less debt as part of its reorganization, an approach favored under a rival plan that no longer has backers in the bankruptcy proceeding.

PG&E is proposing that its parent company, PG&E Corporation, issue billions of dollars in debt. The cost of this borrowing would have to be paid with earnings from Pacific Gas and Electric Company, the entity that provides customers with gas and power, in theory leaving it with less money to improve its network.

PG&E is also seeking to use a tax windfall from its wildfire-related losses to back $7 billion in new debt, an offering known as securitization bonds. A share of rate payments is designated for taxes — payments the company will be spared for some time — and PG&E wants to use that revenue to finance the bonds. Mr. Newsom has criticized these financial moves, saying they could impair the company’s ability to raise additional money for safety improvements.

Energy policy has been a political crucible for California in the past — most notably in the crisis that followed the bungled deregulation of the state’s electricity market two decades ago, unleashing events that ended in the recall of Gov. Gray Davis in 2003.

Michael Sweet, who has known Mr. Newsom for decades, feels the current governor is up to the challenge. Mr. Sweet, a San Francisco lawyer whose firm represents a few creditors in PG&E’s bankruptcy, said that on Mr. Newsom’s watch, the utility might finally face a reckoning.

“If PG&E and Wall Street are not giving his concern a significant amount of credence, they’re underestimating him,” Mr. Sweet said, citing Mr. Newsom’s forceful advocacy for legalizing marijuana and gay marriage early in his political career. “He’s not afraid to go out on a limb.”

Real Estate, and Personal Injury Lawyers. Contact us at: https://westlakelegal.com 

The Battle for California’s 20 Million Voters Came Early This Year

Westlake Legal Group 00California-04-facebookJumbo The Battle for California’s 20 Million Voters Came Early This Year Villaraigosa, Antonio Sanders, Bernard Presidential Election of 2020 Politics and Government Endorsements Central Valley (Calif) California Bloomberg, Michael R

FRESNO, Calif. — “There’s nothing magical about California,” Michael R. Bloomberg declared after a day flying through the state — or Iowa, for that matter, he added.

But here he was in California, not any of the four early nominating states, trying to make the magic happen.

So there were free carne asada tacos in front of Fresno City College, along with free Mike 2020 T-shirts, designed to draw a lunchtime crowd to hear the former New York mayor speak in a courtyard lined with citrus trees.

“I have never backed down from a bully or run away from a fight,” Mr. Bloomberg said, standing in front of dozens of signs urging supporters to “vote early.” Then he turned to the core of his appeal: “I’m the un-Trump.”

It is simple math — with 415 delegates, California has more electoral power than all four early states combined. And while the political world waited for, then pored over, the partial results from not quite 170,000 voters in Iowa, there are currently about 20 million registered voters in California, and roughly 15 million of them received mail-in ballots this week.

Typically a late-spring afterthought in the nominating contests, and largely ignored in the general election because their state is so reliably blue, the voters of California aren’t accustomed to culling national candidates.

But this year, state officials moved voting day to Super Tuesday, the earliest the California primary has been since 2008.

California matters now. And the earlier primary means that presidential candidates are spending time and money in parts of the state that rarely see big-name politicians of any kind. Democratic Senate candidates and would-be governors often skip over the Central Valley, the agricultural heart of California, reasoning there are far more votes to be had outside the relatively rural and conservative part of the state.

“The Appalachia of California,” is how Antonio Villaraigosa, the former mayor of Los Angeles, referred to the Central Valley as he traveled with Mr. Bloomberg Monday in Fresno, the region’s largest city by population, after offering his endorsement and becoming a national political co-chair for the campaign.

While the coastal cities of Los Angeles and San Francisco have long been treated as political ATMs, the less wealthy Central Valley and Inland Empire have often struggled for attention and power.

But now California’s Inland Empire, as the region about 50 miles east of Los Angeles is known, is a must-stop. Senator Bernie Sanders and Mr. Bloomberg, the candidates who have devoted the most resources to California, have both come to campaign in person and opened up field offices in the area, as well as in the Central Valley.

“People here have been beaten down for so long that they feel like their vote doesn’t matter,” said Michael Gomez Daly, the executive director for Inland Empire United, a left-leaning political advocacy group.

Smaller communities in other parts of the country have gotten attention from politicians for years, he said. “Now it’s our turn to say: ‘These are the issues and what are you going to do about it?’”

Like many other local leaders, Mr. Gomez Daly lists homelessness, poverty, immigration and the environment as some of the most pressing concerns for the region. In an area packed with warehouses used to distribute imported goods all over the country, activists in the region have been focusing their ire on Amazon, blaming the behemoth for stagnant low wages and pollution.

When Mr. Sanders visited, he too spoke out against Amazon by pitching the Green New Deal, which would crack down on truck emissions that pollute the region.

Just as in other Super Tuesday states, Michael Bloomberg is spending lavishly to get on the airwaves here — so far paying nearly $34 million to advertise on television across the state, including roughly $1.8 million on Spanish-language stations, according to Advertising Analytics.

His money is by far eclipsing other candidates who remain focused elsewhere. Only the other billionaire in the race, Tom Steyer, has come anywhere close, spending nearly $15 million since last summer. Mr. Sanders’s campaign has spent roughly $3 million on television in California so far, and has said it plans to spend over $2.5 million more, spread between California and Texas, another delegate-rich Super Tuesday state. (None of the other top candidates have advertised on television so far.)

But the attention goes beyond the airwaves. The Sanders and Bloomberg campaigns are testing the theory that California is not a place that can be organized with foot soldiers.

So far, Mr. Bloomberg has 220 staff members throughout the state, a number his campaign expects to grow to 800 by the end of the month. Mr. Sanders’s campaign, which has operated several offices throughout the state, has about 90 organizers.

Though longtime political operatives in the state dismiss the notion that reaching out to individual voters is effective in a statewide election, the Sanders campaign boasts of knocking on 400,000 doors and making 3.5 million phone calls in California in the last year.

Both the Sanders and Bloomberg campaigns are specifically targeting the Inland Empire and Central Valley, two of the only regions in the state that still send Republicans to Congress. While Mr. Bloomberg’s supporters believe he can attract moderate voters from the area, Mr. Sanders’s staff is focusing on voters who backed Barack Obama and then switched to Donald J. Trump in those regions — especially white working-class men.

“Riverside is our Des Moines,” said Anna Bahr, a California spokeswoman for the Sanders campaign, describing efforts in the Inland Empire city.

Other campaigns seem to be taking a more traditional approach, waiting for more results to shake out in the early states before pouring money into California.

Senator Elizabeth Warren has held several large rallies in the state, but so far has a smaller staff operation. Advisers to former Vice President Joseph R. Biden Jr. say that their internal polling shows that he consistently meets the 15 percent threshold — the number needed to secure delegates — in each of the state’s congressional districts.

Current polling shows Mr. Sanders leading, ahead of Mr. Biden and Ms. Warren. Both Pete Buttigieg, the former mayor of South Bend, Ind., and Mr. Bloomberg have yet to break into the top tier in the state.

A candidate needs to capture at least 15 percent of the vote in a congressional district or statewide in order to win delegates in California. Because the state has such a large number of delegates, it is possible for a candidate to rack up many delegates toward the nomination, even if he or she does not win the popular vote here. And if the race is tight, it is possible it will take days or weeks before the final results are clear.

Mr. Bloomberg, thanks to his resources, remains the biggest unknown factor. Campaign officials say they are confident they have more time to ramp up, with many voters still undecided and Mr. Biden’s top-tier standing in question after a weak performance in the Iowa caucuses.

Jerry Brown, the former governor who remains one of the state’s most popular political figures, said he believes the Democratic nomination may not be decided until the summer convention, but that Mr. Bloomberg could easily shift the dynamics with his spending alone. Though California has a history of rejecting self-funded candidates, Mr. Brown recalled watching his own internal polls steadily tick up during his 2010 race for governor, as he began spending heavily on television ads.

“I had been behind from May to September, then we started on television after Labor Day and I started going up a point or two every week,” he said. “California voters are swayed by what they see on their televisions.

At his rallies across the state Monday, several people in the crowds said they remained undecided, but were considering Mr. Bloomberg in part because of his willingness to spend lavishly to beat Mr. Trump and his experience in running the largest city in the country.

Still, there were signs of Mr. Bloomberg’s uphill battle, particularly among people of color, several of whom mentioned the stop-and-frisk policing tactic that he pursued for a decade and that disproportionately targeted black and Latino men. Mr. Bloomberg defended the policy for years before apologizing late last year.

“We’ve heard a lot of candidates make a lot of promises to the African-American community and then no follow through,” said Nina Childs, 36, a writer who lives in Compton. “A lot of people I know, a lot of black millennials are really excited by Sanders. Are they going to get excited by someone who supported stop and frisk, like Bloomberg? No.”

Latinos make up roughly 24 percent of likely voters in California, and the Sanders campaign has made getting their votes a cornerstone of its strategy here.

So far, Mr. Sanders’s campaign has spent roughly $1.7 million on Spanish-language television advertising, according to Advertising Analytics, about the same as Mr. Bloomberg. And Mr. Bloomberg is aggressively courting moderate Latino and black voters, touting the backing of Mr. Villaraigosa and Aja Brown, the mayor of Compton and one of several African-American leaders to endorse him in recent days.

“Central Valley issues are Latino issues, and Latino issues are American issues,” Mr. Bloomberg told voters in Fresno.

Mr. Bloomberg, who is known for his earnest but halting attempts to speak Spanish, shied away from speaking the language on the stump through his tour of the state. Then, in Compton, he riffed on the Super Bowl halftime show.

“I think we know which team put on the most impressive performance,” he said. “Shar-eek-ah and JLo.” The crowd laughed politely, seemingly forgiving the mangled pronunciation of the Colombian superstar Shakira’s name.

In some ways, the campaigns’ California plans seem to echo the “fishhook strategy” Republicans tried to use in the state decades ago, targeting the central region of the state and inland Southern California, said Karthick Ramakrishnan, a professor of public policy and politics at the University of California, Riverside.

“I think this region is getting to a stage where people here expect to be treated better, in terms of having candidates actually visit and paying attention to them,” Mr. Ramakrishnan said.

Rusty Bailey, the mayor of Riverside, describes himself as a moderate and is registered as “no party preference” but plans to vote in the Democratic primary. He was leaning toward Mr. Buttigieg until Mr. Bloomberg came to stump in Riverside in January.

The top issue in the region is homelessness, Mr. Bailey said, and he believes that Mr. Bloomberg understands the concerns.

Mr. Gomez Daly, the policy director of the Inland Empire advocacy group, said that the infusion of attention was a “dream for the local political infrastructure.”

And, he said, he sees other benefits too.

“Everybody I know seems to have been hired by the Sanders and Bloomberg campaigns.”

Real Estate, and Personal Injury Lawyers. Contact us at: https://westlakelegal.com 

California, Mired in a Housing Crisis, Rejects an Effort to Ease It

Westlake Legal Group 00calhousing1-facebookJumbo California, Mired in a Housing Crisis, Rejects an Effort to Ease It Zoning Wiener, Scott (1970- ) Urban Areas Real Estate and Housing (Residential) Newsom, Gavin Law and Legislation Homeless Persons Economic Conditions and Trends California Area Planning and Renewal Affordable Housing

SAN FRANCISCO — For years, a determined state senator has pushed a singular vision: a bill challenging California’s devotion to both single-family housing and motor vehicles by stripping away limits on housing density near public transit.

Now the state will have to look for other ways to relieve its relentless housing crisis. On Thursday, one day before the deadline for action on the hotly debated bill, it failed to muster majority support in a Senate vote.

In the end, in a Legislature where consensus can be elusive despite a lopsided Democratic majority, the effort drew opposition from two key constituencies: suburbanites keen on preserving their lifestyle and less affluent city dwellers seeing a Trojan horse of gentrification.

The failure marks the third time since 2018 that State Senator Scott Wiener, a San Francisco Democrat and one of the country’s most outspoken advocates for reforming local zoning laws, has tried and failed to push through a major bill meant to stimulate housing production.

“This is about Californians who are hurting right now, and we have an obligation to represent them,” Mr. Wiener said in a speech on the Senate floor.

The bill’s demise is the latest turn in a long and acrimonious struggle over how much of the answer to California’s most pressing issue lies in rewriting the state’s rules to encourage building.

Mr. Wiener’s measure, Senate Bill 50, would have overridden local zoning rules to allow high-density housing near transit lines, high-performing school districts and other amenity-laden areas. Supporters portrayed it as a big but necessary step toward reducing the state’s housing deficit — and helping to curb carbon emissions from long-distance driving — by fostering development in dense urban corridors. Opponents decried it as state overreach into local land-use rules.

There is broad agreement that the state’s extraordinary cost of living and escalating homeless problem is rooted in a shortage of housing in general and a dearth of lower-cost housing in particular. But many remain skeptical of remedies involving big structural changes.

“The only thing that folks agree on is that we need housing,” said Andreas Borgeas, a Fresno Republican, who voted against the Wiener bill. “How we get there, everyone has a different theory.”

Gov. Gavin Newsom, who came into office a year ago with bold pronouncements about a “Marshall Plan for Housing,” said he supported Mr. Wiener’s efforts to increase density near transit, but never endorsed the bill outright.

Mr. Newsom campaigned on a promise to usher in reforms that would lead to the construction of 3.5 million housing units by 2025. That output would be more than quadruple the current rate, and the governor has started referring to it as a “stretch goal.”

California is not only well behind that pace, but the number of housing permits has actually turned downward — hovering around 100,000 units in 2019 — despite a strong economy and a median home value, $556,000, that is more than twice the national figure.

It is hard to overstate the threat posed to the state’s economy and prosperity. Housing costs are the primary reason that California’s poverty rate, 18.2 percent, is the highest of any state when adjusted for its cost of living, despite a thriving economy that has led to strong income growth and record-low unemployment.

The consequences are in plain sight. Cities are struggling to deliver basic services because teachers and firefighters can’t afford to live near their jobs. A surge of sidewalk tents and homeless camps has prompted city leaders to urge a state of emergency — and led lucrative business conferences to find other locations. Many Californians are moving to cheaper states, and homelessness routinely tops the polls of residents’ biggest concerns.

Liberal and conservative economists agree that the housing squeeze arises in part from an excess of process and local rules. Attempts to reform exclusionary zoning are central to the housing plans of most of the current Democratic presidential candidates, including Senators Bernie Sanders, Elizabeth Warren and Amy Klobuchar.

The rub is in how to rectify that — and which level of government should take the lead. The answer produced by S.B. 50 was to transfer power from cities to the state. Surprisingly, perhaps, this was an answer that many city officials, frustrated with their own intransigent development processes, endorsed.

In addition to supporters like the Natural Resources Defense Council, the payments start-up Stripe and unions including the United Farm Workers, the bill gained the backing of several counties and dozens of elected officials, including Mayors London Breed of San Francisco and Adrian Fine of Palo Alto — both representing cities where development is notoriously expensive and difficult.

But their opponents were also a diverse coalition. Take, for instance, Livable California, a group that was formed largely to oppose Mr. Wiener’s bill and others like it. The organization was founded by homeowners in exclusive suburbs in places like Marin County and the San Francisco Peninsula, but also counts activists from Leimert Park, a middle-class and predominantly African-American neighborhood in South Los Angeles, among its members.

“Nothing in this bill is giving us more say; it’s taking away what little say we have now,” said Isaiah Madison, a 24-year-old graduate student in Leimert Park who recently joined Livable California’s board. “I’m not against development. I am just for communities navigating that development with a developer. We have community plans in South Los Angeles that we’ve been working on for 30 years that included a lot of input from a community that has historically been underrepresented in urban planning, and I think that’s important to protect.”

The road to S.B. 50 began in the previous legislative session, when Mr. Wiener introduced a similar measure that prompted a national conversation about exclusionary land use rules that lead to segregation by income and race. It also tested the degree to which even liberal California voters were ready to embrace higher-density neighborhoods near job centers, an approach that various policymakers and researchers say is crucial to curbing emissions that cause climate change.

That bill was killed in its first committee vote in 2018. Mr. Wiener’s office has spent the intervening years modifying it to attract support. Among other things, provisions were added to protect tenants from displacement and to delay implementation for two years to win over cities that said the bill hampered passage of their own housing plans.

Though the governor’s office says it still wants a big housing bill like S.B. 50, Mr. Newsom has also declared that zoning reform is useless if cities don’t build in line with state housing plans. To that end, he has pushed an initiative to build affordable housing on public land, pressured cities to accommodate more housing and actually issue permits for what it zones, and signed legislation penalizing cities that don’t meet their state housing goals.

The governor also authorized a lawsuit against Huntington Beach, a city of 200,000 in Orange County, for failing to comply with state housing laws, and warned other cities that they faced similar action.

While Mr. Wiener has been pushing his zoning bills, the Legislature has passed several less sweeping but potentially significant measures that could add up over time. One prevents cities from changing their zoning laws to reduce future housing, and another that makes it legal to build three units on single-family lots across the state, regardless of local rules.

And after Thursday’s vote, the gauntlet was thrown down for further action. “The status quo cannot stand,” Toni Atkins of San Diego, a Senate Democratic leader, told colleagues. Calling on the Legislature to compromise and “step up,” she declared, “A housing production bill will succeed this year.”

Real Estate, and Personal Injury Lawyers. Contact us at: https://westlakelegal.com 

California, Mired in a Housing Crisis, Rejects an Effort to Fix It

Westlake Legal Group 00calhousing1-facebookJumbo California, Mired in a Housing Crisis, Rejects an Effort to Fix It Zoning Wiener, Scott (1970- ) Urban Areas Real Estate and Housing (Residential) Newsom, Gavin Law and Legislation Homeless Persons Economic Conditions and Trends California Area Planning and Renewal Affordable Housing

SAN FRANCISCO — For years, a determined state senator has pushed a singular vision: a bill challenging California’s devotion to both single-family housing and motor vehicles by stripping away limits on housing density near public transit.

Now the state will have to look for other ways to relieve its relentless housing crisis. On Thursday, one day before the deadline for action on the hotly debated bill, it failed to muster majority support in a Senate vote.

In the end, in a Legislature where consensus can be elusive despite a lopsided Democratic majority, the effort drew opposition from two key constituencies: suburbanites keen on preserving their lifestyle and less affluent city dwellers seeing a Trojan horse of gentrification.

The failure marks the third time since 2018 that State Senator Scott Wiener, a San Francisco Democrat and one of the country’s most outspoken advocates for reforming local zoning laws, has tried and failed to push through a major bill meant to stimulate housing production.

“This is about Californians who are hurting right now, and we have an obligation to represent them,” Mr. Wiener said in a speech on the Senate floor.

The bill’s demise is the latest turn in a long and acrimonious struggle over how much of the answer to California’s most pressing issue lies in rewriting the state’s rules to encourage building.

Mr. Wiener’s measure, Senate Bill 50, would have overridden local zoning rules to allow high-density housing near transit lines, high-performing school districts and other amenity-laden areas. Supporters portrayed it as a big but necessary step toward reducing the state’s housing deficit — and helping to curb carbon emissions from long-distance driving — by fostering development in dense urban corridors. Opponents decried it as state overreach into local land-use rules.

There is broad agreement that the state’s extraordinary cost of living and escalating homeless problem is rooted in a shortage of housing in general and a dearth of lower-cost housing in particular. But many remain skeptical of remedies involving big structural changes.

“The only thing that folks agree on is that we need housing,” said Andreas Borgeas, a Fresno Republican, who voted against the Wiener bill. “How we get there, everyone has a different theory.”

Gov. Gavin Newsom, who came into office a year ago with bold pronouncements about a “Marshall Plan for Housing,” said he supported Mr. Wiener’s efforts to increase density near transit, but never endorsed the bill outright.

Mr. Newsom campaigned on a promise to usher in reforms that would lead to the construction of 3.5 million housing units by 2025. That output would be more than quadruple the current rate, and the governor has started referring to it as a “stretch goal.”

California is not only well behind that pace, but the number of housing permits has actually turned downward — hovering around 100,000 units in 2019 — despite a strong economy and a median home value, $556,000, that is more than twice the national figure.

It is hard to overstate the threat posed to the state’s economy and prosperity. Housing costs are the primary reason that California’s poverty rate, 18.2 percent, is the highest of any state when adjusted for its cost of living, despite a thriving economy that has led to strong income growth and record-low unemployment.

The consequences are in plain sight. Cities are struggling to deliver basic services because teachers and firefighters can’t afford to live near their jobs. A surge of sidewalk tents and homeless camps has prompted city leaders to urge a state of emergency — and led lucrative business conferences to find other locations. Many Californians are moving to cheaper states, and homelessness routinely tops the polls of residents’ biggest concerns.

Liberal and conservative economists agree that the housing squeeze arises in part from an excess of process and local rules. Attempts to reform exclusionary zoning are central to the housing plans of most of the current Democratic presidential candidates, including Senators Bernie Sanders, Elizabeth Warren and Amy Klobuchar.

The rub is in how to rectify that — and which level of government should take the lead. The answer produced by S.B. 50 was to transfer power from cities to the state. Surprisingly, perhaps, this was an answer that many city officials, frustrated with their own intransigent development processes, endorsed.

In addition to supporters like the Natural Resources Defense Council, the payments start-up Stripe and unions including the United Farm Workers, the bill gained the backing of several counties and dozens of elected officials, including Mayors London Breed of San Francisco and Adrian Fine of Palo Alto — both representing cities where development is notoriously expensive and difficult.

But their opponents were also a diverse coalition. Take, for instance, Livable California, a group that was formed largely to oppose Mr. Wiener’s bill and others like it. The organization was founded by homeowners in exclusive suburbs in places like Marin County and the San Francisco Peninsula, but also counts activists from Leimert Park, a middle-class and predominantly African-American neighborhood in South Los Angeles, among its members.

“Nothing in this bill is giving us more say; it’s taking away what little say we have now,” said Isaiah Madison, a 24-year-old graduate student in Leimert Park who recently joined Livable California’s board. “I’m not against development. I am just for communities navigating that development with a developer. We have community plans in South Los Angeles that we’ve been working on for 30 years that included a lot of input from a community that has historically been underrepresented in urban planning, and I think that’s important to protect.”

The road to S.B. 50 began in the previous legislative session, when Mr. Wiener introduced a similar measure that prompted a national conversation about exclusionary land use rules that lead to segregation by income and race. It also tested the degree to which even liberal California voters were ready to embrace higher-density neighborhoods near job centers, an approach that various policymakers and researchers say is crucial to curbing emissions that cause climate change.

That bill was killed in its first committee vote in 2018. Mr. Wiener’s office has spent the intervening years modifying it to attract support. Among other things, provisions were added to protect tenants from displacement and to delay implementation for two years to win over cities that said the bill hampered passage of their own housing plans.

Though the governor’s office says it still wants a big housing bill like S.B. 50, Mr. Newsom has also declared that zoning reform is useless if cities don’t build in line with state housing plans. To that end, he has pushed an initiative to build affordable housing on public land, pressured cities to accommodate more housing and actually issue permits for what it zones, and signed legislation penalizing cities that don’t meet their state housing goals.

The governor also authorized a lawsuit against Huntington Beach, a city of 200,000 in Orange County, for failing to comply with state housing laws, and warned other cities that they faced similar action.

While Mr. Wiener has been pushing his zoning bills, the Legislature has passed several less sweeping but potentially significant measures that could add up over time. One prevents cities from changing their zoning laws to reduce future housing, and another that makes it legal to build three units on single-family lots across the state, regardless of local rules.

And after Thursday’s vote, the gauntlet was thrown down for further action. “The status quo cannot stand,” Toni Atkins of San Diego, a Senate Democratic leader, told colleagues. Calling on the Legislature to compromise and “step up,” she declared, “A housing production bill will succeed this year.”

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Live Updates on Death of Kobe Bryant: Pilot Was Trying to Fly Higher

Video

transcript

Fans and Friends Mourn Kobe Bryant After Helicopter Crash

The retired N.B.A. star, 41, was among the passengers in a helicopter that went down in Calabasas, Calif.

“We’re all feeling crazy sadness right now because earlier today Los Angeles, America and the whole wide world lost a hero, and we’re literally standing here heartbroken in the house that Kobe Bryant built.” “Tonight is for Kobe —” [singing] “Kobe, my thoughts are with you. Absolutely rest in peace, young man — this loss is, it’s just hard to comprehend.” “He was just such a wonderful kid. But more than that, has turned into a wonderful adult man.” “Everything I do, I do it for him, obviously — really close friend, and this season’s for him.” Crowd: “Kobe, Kobe, Kobe, Kobe, Kobe, Kobe.” Announcer: “The N.B.A and the game of basketball will mourn this loss together. Please join us in a moment of silence for Kobe Bryant. Rest in peace, Mamba.”

Westlake Legal Group 27kobe-briefing-HS-videoSixteenByNine3000 Live Updates on Death of Kobe Bryant: Pilot Was Trying to Fly Higher Los Angeles Lakers Los Angeles (Calif) Deaths (Fatalities) California CALABASAS, Calif. Bryant, Kobe Bryant, Gianna (2006-20) basketball Aviation Accidents, Safety and Disasters

The retired N.B.A. star, 41, was among the passengers in a helicopter that went down in Calabasas, Calif.CreditCredit…Hannah Yoon for The New York Times

Here’s what you need to know:

Just before air traffic controllers lost track of the helicopter that was carrying nine people, including Kobe Bryant, on Sunday, the pilot who was at the controls said that he was trying to fly higher to avoid a cloud layer, federal investigators said Monday.

The National Transportation Safety Board said there was no response from the pilot after controllers asked for more information, and radar suggested that the helicopter ascended to 2,300 feet and began a descending turn to the left.

Although investigators are scrutinizing weather conditions at the time of the crash — part of Southern California was shrouded in fog on Sunday morning — they are also examining the possibility that other issues played a role in the crash.

“We take a broad look at everything around an investigation, around an accident,” Jennifer Homendy, a member of the N.T.S.B., said at a news conference in California on Monday afternoon. “We look at man, machine and the environment, and weather is just a small portion of that.”

The helicopter did not carry a cockpit voice recorder, and investigators are spending their days searching a debris field of about 500 to 600 feet, trying to recover perishable evidence. Federal officials are not expected to reach a conclusion about the cause of the accident for months.

But asked Monday whether the crash had been survivable, Ms. Homendy replied: “It was a pretty devastating accident scene.”

The Lakers and the Clippers will not play as planned on Tuesday night, the N.B.A. said Monday, as the players and others throughout basketball grieve the death of Kobe Bryant, a star with the Lakers for two decades.

In a statement, the league said the game had been postponed to a later date, which was not immediately announced, “out of respect for the Lakers organization.”

Soon after the league’s announcement, the Lakers expressed gratitude for the public outpouring of support.

“This is a very difficult time for all of us,” the team said in a statement.

The Lakers last played Saturday, when they lost at Philadelphia, and were traveling back to California when word of the helicopter crash that took Bryant’s life emerged. Staples Center, where both the Lakers and Clippers play their home games, has been the site of impromptu gatherings and tributes since Bryant’s death.

Eight other N.B.A. games scheduled for Tuesday are expected to be played as planned.

The helicopter that crashed on Sunday with Kobe Bryant and eight other people on board, killing everyone, had received approval to fly through the controlled airspace around Burbank even though weather conditions were worse than usual standards for flying.

The helicopter flew north from Orange County after takeoff on Sunday morning and circled near Burbank, waiting for clearance to keep going. According to audio records between the helicopter’s pilot and air traffic control at Burbank Airport, the helicopter was given what is known as Special Visual Flight Rules clearance, meaning they could proceed through Burbank’s airspace on a foggy morning in Southern California.

Whether the pilot made the right decision — to continue flying on despite low fog in the hillsides of Calabasas, where the aircraft crashed — will likely be at the center of the investigation into the cause of the crash.

Any special clearance from air traffic controllers would have allowed the pilot to fly through the controlled airspace around Burbank and Van Nuys, but would not give the flight “blanket clearance” to continue on from there to Calabasas, according to a Federal Aviation Administration official.

“A pilot is responsible for determining whether it is safe to fly in current and expected conditions, and a pilot is also responsible for determining flight visibility,” said the official, who spoke on condition of anonymity because he was not authorized to discuss details of the investigation.

Once the pilot left Burbank’s control zone, the official added, it would have been up to him to either make sure there were appropriate visual flight conditions, or transition to flying solely with the use of his instruments, which would have required an additional F.A.A. clearance.

According to F.A.A. records, the pilot was not only certified to fly under instrument conditions, but to teach other pilots seeking to obtain their instrument ratings. His commercial pilot’s license was issued in 2007.

Officially transitioning to instrument flight rules would have allowed the pilot to go on flying, even with very low visibility, but would not have allowed the flight to land except at an airport. The pilot might also have had to gain altitude in order to be fully visible on radar used by controllers.

Just before losing radio contact, the pilot had asked for “flight following,” which allows controllers to track the flight and be in regular contact, under his “special” visual flight clearance.

The controller responded that the helicopter was “too low level for flight following at this time.”

Sergeant Yvette Tuning, who was the watch commander for the Los Angeles Police Department’s Air Support Division on the morning of the crash, said that most of the Los Angeles basin was so cloudy that flights could be conducted only under instrument rules, on Sunday morning.

L.A.P.D. helicopters do not generally fly under those conditions because officers need to be able to see while doing air patrols. The visibility was less than two and a half miles from the department’s heliport near Union Station in downtown Los Angeles, she said.

She said these conditions occur more often in the winter and early in the summer, when fog along the coast is commonplace.

Tuning said the weather this winter, as it was on Monday morning, has been fairly clear, allowing helicopters to operate normally.

“But yesterday when I came to work I immediately saw it as I came down into the valley, that it was just socked in,” Tuning said. “So I already knew we” — meaning L.A.P.D. Air Support — “weren’t going to be flying unless it burned off quick. And it did not burn off quick.”

Scott Daehlin, 61, said the fog had been “as thick as swimming in a pool of milk” when he walked out of Church in the Canyon at 9:40 a.m. on Sunday.

He had come out of the Presbyterian church, which is across the street from the crash site, to get sound equipment for the Sunday service, when the sound of a helicopter coming low and loud through the thick marine layer prompted him to look up.

“I couldn’t see anything, not even a silhouette,” he said as he looked across the street where the steep mountainside rose, the grassy slope now littered with wreckage. “My first thought was what in the world is a helicopter doing out here in this fog?”

Low cloud layers are common in the area, but on Sunday the fog was so thick it came nearly to the ground and made visibility so low, church members said, that they had trouble driving.

For about 20 seconds on Sunday morning, Daehlin followed the sound of the helicopter as it swept over the church parking lot and south toward the crest of the Santa Monica Mountains. It sounded even and normal, but, he said, “it sounded too low.”

“It sounded almost like the pilot was hovering, trying to find his way,” said Daehlin, who said his father was a pilot. He added “I had a sinking feeling in my stomach, and I was saying, ‘Get some altitude.’”

Then he heard a loud thump and the crack of what sounded like fiberglass, and all sound from the engines stopped.

He called 911 and directed fire crews to the hillside. He could not see the crash because of the fog, but saw some smoke and heard several pops as the wreckage burned.

ImageWestlake Legal Group merlin_167886834_4a12c1a5-2dd4-4a73-904c-aefa88957758-articleLarge Live Updates on Death of Kobe Bryant: Pilot Was Trying to Fly Higher Los Angeles Lakers Los Angeles (Calif) Deaths (Fatalities) California CALABASAS, Calif. Bryant, Kobe Bryant, Gianna (2006-20) basketball Aviation Accidents, Safety and Disasters

The aircraft that crashed, shown here in February 2018, was a Sikorsky S-76B helicopter.Credit…Matt Hartman/Associated Press

The retired Los Angeles Lakers star Kobe Bryant, 41, and his daughter Gianna died in a helicopter crash near Calabasas, Calif., on Sunday, along with seven other victims.

The helicopter was flying from Orange County, Calif., where the Bryant family lives, and crashed in foggy conditions about 30 miles northwest of downtown Los Angeles as it was en route to Bryant’s youth basketball academy.

The other passengers included the pilot, Ara Zobayan; the college baseball coach John Altobelli and Altobelli’s wife, Keri, and daughter Alyssa; Christina Mauser, a basketball coach; and Sarah and Payton Chester, a mother and daughter who lived in Orange County.

Sheriff Alex Villanueva of Los Angeles County said the helicopter went down in an area with “very rough terrain,” and that even emergency crews had found it dangerous trying to get there during daylight on Sunday. The debris field, he said, was roughly 100 yards in each direction.

The National Transportation Safety Board said it would look at the history of the pilot and any crew on board.

“We’ll be looking at maintenance records of the helicopter,” said Jennifer Homendy, a member of the board. “We will be looking at records of the owner and operator of the helicopter and a number of other things.”

It was not immediately clear how many passengers the helicopter was approved to transport, or whether the helicopter was overloaded.

The chief medical examiner for Los Angeles County, Dr. Jonathan R. Lucas, said it could take several days to recover the bodies from the crash site.

“We will be doing our work thoroughly, quickly and with the utmost compassion,” Lucas said. “We’re doing everything we can to confirm identifications and give closure to the families involved.”

The helicopter was traveling to the Mamba Sports Academy in Thousand Oaks, Calif., and its passengers included Bryant’s 13-year-old daughter Gianna, who played at the school.

Bryant coached her team, and Gianna, whose nickname was Gigi, was “hellbent” on playing for the University of Connecticut and in the W.N.B.A., he told The Los Angeles Times last year.

At a UConn game last year, the father and daughter sat courtside and Bryant was asked about his daughter picking up the game by SNY. “I watch the game through my daughter’s eyes,” he said.

John Altobelli, 56, a longtime baseball coach at Orange Coast College, a junior college in Costa Mesa. Calif., was also on the helicopter with his wife, Keri, and daughter Alyssa, according to a college spokesman.

“This is a tremendous loss for our campus community,” said Angelica Suarez, the president of Orange Coast College, in a statement.

Last year, Altobelli led the Pirates to the California Community College baseball state championship, their fourth state title with the coach, and he was named one of the American Baseball Coaches Association coaches of the year.

Jeff McNeil, a Mets All-Star infielder, had been coached by Altobelli, and told ESPN, “Him taking that chance on me, having me on his team, got me drafted.”

Although the California authorities have not publicly identified the victims, their relatives, friends and employers announced and grieved the deaths. The other victims are:

  • Sarah and Payton Chester, a mother and daughter who lived in Orange County

  • Christina Mauser, a California basketball coach who had worked with Gianna Bryant

  • Ara Zobayan, a pilot

Many of the mourners who have grieved Bryant’s death in and around Los Angeles have been Latinos with whom the Lakers star cultivated a special bond over his 20-year career.

“Latino fans are important to me because when I arrived, they were the fans who most passionately embraced me,” he said in 2016 after his final N.B.A. game. “I told them, ‘Give me two or three years so that I can learn a little bit of Spanish.’ Now, my Spanish is not that good, but I can speak a little. They mean everything to me.”

And so as Los Angeles has reeled from the loss of one of its athletic greats, Latino fans have flocked to vigils and memorials, referring to Bryant as “compa,” slang for a friend (and short for the Spanish word “compadre”).

Bryant’s ties to Latinos also extended beyond his professional life: With his wife, Vanessa, he has raised four black Mexican-American daughters in Southern California.

Bryant’s company spent years applying for trademarks.

There was Black Mamba, Bryant’s nickname. There was Mamba Mentality. And, more recently, there was Mambacita, Gianna’s nickname.

Bryant’s company applied for the trademark in December, seeking to safeguard a burgeoning brand that seemed poised to become more valuable as Gianna’s basketball stock soared.

Her ambitions included playing in the W.N.B.A., and in a filing with the United States Patent and Trademark Office, her father’s company suggested it wanted to protect the use of the name Mambacita on athletic shirts and shorts, jerseys, sweatpants and sweatshirts, among other items.

Bryant used the nickname on his Instagram account as recently as Jan. 14, when he posted a video from a gymnasium and said his daughter was “getting better every day.”

Bryant had posted another video with the nickname in November, when he slyly noted “a familiar looking fade.”

Bryant was drafted to the N.B.A. directly out of high school in 1996, helped lead the Los Angeles Lakers to five championships, and was named an All-Star in 18 of his 20 seasons for the team. His hypercompetitive nature could lead to drama among coaches and teammates — which sometimes spilled over into public — but his commitment to winning was never questioned.

Adam Silver, the N.B.A. commissioner, hailed Bryant as “one of the most extraordinary players in the history of our game.”

“For 20 seasons, Kobe showed us what is possible when remarkable talent blends with an absolute devotion to winning,” Silver said, adding that Bryant would “be remembered most for inspiring people around the world to pick up a basketball and compete to the very best of their ability.”

Bryant’s tenacity and intensity won him respect from rivals and inspired those who followed him into the game. Tributes from other athletes rolled in on Sunday, as Bryant’s friends and rivals shared what he meant to them. His former teammate, Shaquille O’Neal, said he would hug Bryant’s children “like they were my own.”

Michael Jordan said in a statement that he spoke to Bryant often and that he was “like a little brother to me.” Dwyane Wade, the former Miami Heat star, said on Instagram that Bryant “was who I chased” and that it was “one of the saddest days in my lifetime.”

Bryant’s résumé included the N.B.A.’s Most Valuable Player Award for the 2007-8 season, the finals M.V.P. in both 2009 and 2010, an 81-point game in 2006 that is the second-highest single-game total in N.B.A. history and a sterling pedigree on the international stage, where he won gold medals for U.S.A. Basketball in the 2008 and 2012 Olympics.

In 2016, after various injuries had taken their toll on the longtime superstar, he ended his career by scoring 60 points in his final game.

Off the court, Bryant’s legacy was far more complicated. He was arrested in 2003 after a sexual assault complaint was filed against him in Colorado. A 19-year-old hotel employee claimed that Bryant, who was working to rehabilitate his knee following surgery, had raped her. The legal case against Bryant was eventually dropped, and a civil suit was settled privately out of court, but Bryant publicly apologized for the incident.

“Although I truly believe this encounter between us was consensual, I recognize now that she did not and does not view this incident the same way I did,” he said in his statement. “After months of reviewing discovery, listening to her attorney, and even her testimony in person, I now understand how she feels that she did not consent to this encounter.”

In retirement, Bryant expanded his purview, winning an Academy Award in 2018 for his animated short film “Dear Basketball” while also creating the web series “Detail” for ESPN in which he analyzed current players. He was scheduled to headline the 2020 N.B.A. Hall of Fame nominees.

Kobe Bryant may not have been the driver of the N.B.A.’s extraordinary growth abroad, but he was a core vehicle for it, acting as an ambassador for basketball throughout his career, both for the league’s interests and his own. He played on two Olympic teams, winning gold medals in 2008 (Beijing) and 2012 (London). In 2018, Bryant was named, along with Yao Ming, a global ambassador for last year’s FIBA Basketball World Cup.

“Stern’s vision was always to make the N.B.A. a global sport and certainly, he was a commissioner who embraced that,” Michael Veley, a professor of sport management at Syracuse University, said. “But he needed players to also buy into that. It started with the Olympic team — The Dream Team — but after some of the superstars like Charles Barkley and Michael Jordan, the baton had to be passed on to other people who not only were going to be great players, but were going to represent the sport and talk about it on an international stage.”

Matteo Zuretti, the head of international relations for the N.B.A. players union, said in an interview that Bryant’s dominant play alone helped the league encourage more people outside the United States to take up the sport.

“When you are an international player and you stay up until 4 a.m. to watch your idol play, you’re so much removed from him that you develop a special connection,” Zuretti said. “Kobe had been super relevant for people in Los Angeles. But for a generation of international players, he was the winner and idol.”

Three American presidents and athletes, celebrities and fans around the world grieved for Bryant, who became a superstar as basketball grew into an international sensation.

President Trump said that Bryant was “just getting started in life,” even after a career that forever marked him as one of basketball’s greats.

“He loved his family so much, and had such strong passion for the future,” the president wrote on Twitter. “The loss of his beautiful daughter, Gianna, makes this moment even more devastating.”

Former President Barack Obama, who once welcomed the Lakers to the White House, posted on Twitter that Bryant was “a legend on the court and just getting started in what would have been just as meaningful a second act.”

The death of Bryant’s daughter, the former president added, “is even more heartbreaking to us as parents.”

Former President Bill Clinton, who was in the White House when Bryant ascended to the N.B.A., and his wife, former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, extolled how Bryant “brought excitement and joy to basketball fans not just in Los Angeles, but all over the U.S. and around the world.”

The Brazilian soccer star Neymar Jr. paid tribute to Bryant, as did the tennis player Naomi Osaka, who thanked him “for caring and checking up on me after my hard losses.”

Colin Kaepernick, the former N.F.L. quarterback whose kneeling during the national anthem in protest of racism and police brutality inspired a number of athletes to speak out publicly, said on Twitter that he would remember Bryant as a “basketball legend, a father & a man.”

The Italian Basketball Federation said on Monday that it would hold a moment of silence in every game this week for Bryant, who lived in Italy from ages 6 to 13 while his father played professional basketball there.

Bryant was fluent in Italian, and once said it would be a “dream” to play for the country, but in 2011, when an Italian team, Virtus Bologna, offered him a one-year contract during the N.B.A. lockout, the deal fell through, The Associated Press reported.

“It’s a small but heartfelt and deserved gesture to honor the life and memory of Kobe Bryant, an absolute champion who always had Italy in his heart,” the federation said in a statement. Bryant, the statement said, “was and will always be linked to our country.”

Los Angeles woke up Monday grappling with the loss of a global superstar who was, to Southern California, still a local hero. On Sunday, spontaneous shrines and vigils cropped up around the region, including outside Staples Center, the home of the Lakers, the team he played with for 20 seasons.

“He was not a perfect man, but we all have our faults,” Joe Rivas, a 28-year-old registered nurse, said on Sunday. “It’s beyond basketball.”

Los Angeles County officials have been worried by the number of people who tried to visit the crash site, which they said is located amid challenging terrain.

“We’re now faced with, I guess, well-wishers and people mourning who have descended on the area, on the residential community and even the crash site itself,” Sheriff Alex Villanueva said on Sunday evening. “We have to reiterate that it is off-limits to everybody except the first responders and investigators.”

Mourners, he said, could gather at a nearby park.

Tuesday promises to be a challenging day in Los Angeles, where the Lakers will play their first game since Bryant’s death. Their opponent? The Los Angeles Clippers.

The Washington Post suspended one of its reporters, Felicia Sonmez, after she published a series of tweets about Bryant in the hours after his death.

Sonmez initially tweeted a link to a Daily Beast article about sexual assault allegations made against Bryant in 2003 — a missive that stood out in the general outpouring of appreciation for Bryant and drew a swift backlash.

She followed up with a post about the negative responses she had received, including a screenshot of an email she had received that used offensive language, called her a lewd name and displayed the sender’s full name.

It was not immediately clear if any specific tweet prompted the suspension, and The Post said it was reviewing “whether tweets about the death of Kobe Bryant violated The Post newsroom’s social media policy.”

Separately, as the sheriff of Los Angeles County, Alex Villanueva, gave one of his first official update on the investigation, he declined to say whether Bryant was one of the victims and offered a pointed rebuke to the news organization that broke the news.

“It would be extremely disrespectful to understand your loved one has perished and you learn about it from TMZ,” he said. “That is just wholly inappropriate so we are not going to be going there. We are going to wait until the coroner does their job.”

TMZ did not immediately respond to a request for comment. The news media also drew criticism on Sunday after inaccurate reports circulated that four of Bryant’s children were killed in the crash, and a reporter for ABC News apologized for the report.

Reporting was contributed by Louis Keene, Kevin Draper, Elena Bergeron, Jennifer Medina, Neil Vigdor, Sopan Deb, Nicholas Bogel-Burroughs, Sarah Mervosh, Marc Stein, Jill Cowan, Miriam Jordan, Mihir Zaveri, Jon Hurdle, Rachel Abrams, Benjamin Hoffman, Jonah Engel Bromwich and Daniel Victor.

Real Estate, and Personal Injury Lawyers. Contact us at: https://westlakelegal.com 

Live Updates on Death of Kobe Bryant: Pilot Was Trying to Fly Higher

Video

transcript

Fans and Friends Mourn Kobe Bryant After Helicopter Crash

The retired N.B.A. star, 41, was among the passengers in a helicopter that went down in Calabasas, Calif.

“We’re all feeling crazy sadness right now because earlier today Los Angeles, America and the whole wide world lost a hero, and we’re literally standing here heartbroken in the house that Kobe Bryant built.” “Tonight is for Kobe —” [singing] “Kobe, my thoughts are with you. Absolutely rest in peace, young man — this loss is, it’s just hard to comprehend.” “He was just such a wonderful kid. But more than that, has turned into a wonderful adult man.” “Everything I do, I do it for him, obviously — really close friend, and this season’s for him.” Crowd: “Kobe, Kobe, Kobe, Kobe, Kobe, Kobe.” Announcer: “The N.B.A and the game of basketball will mourn this loss together. Please join us in a moment of silence for Kobe Bryant. Rest in peace, Mamba.”

Westlake Legal Group 27kobe-briefing-HS-videoSixteenByNine3000 Live Updates on Death of Kobe Bryant: Pilot Was Trying to Fly Higher Los Angeles Lakers Los Angeles (Calif) Deaths (Fatalities) California CALABASAS, Calif. Bryant, Kobe Bryant, Gianna (2006-20) basketball Aviation Accidents, Safety and Disasters

The retired N.B.A. star, 41, was among the passengers in a helicopter that went down in Calabasas, Calif.CreditCredit…Hannah Yoon for The New York Times

Here’s what you need to know:

Just before air traffic controllers lost track of the helicopter that was carrying nine people, including Kobe Bryant, on Sunday, the pilot who was at the controls said that he was trying to fly higher to avoid a cloud layer, federal investigators said Monday.

The National Transportation Safety Board said there was no response from the pilot after controllers asked for more information, and radar suggested that the helicopter ascended to 2,300 feet and began a descending turn to the left.

Although investigators are scrutinizing weather conditions at the time of the crash — part of Southern California was shrouded in fog on Sunday morning — they are also examining the possibility that other issues played a role in the crash.

“We take a broad look at everything around an investigation, around an accident,” Jennifer Homendy, a member of the N.T.S.B., said at a news conference in California on Monday afternoon. “We look at man, machine and the environment, and weather is just a small portion of that.”

The helicopter did not carry a cockpit voice recorder, and investigators are spending their days searching a debris field of about 500 to 600 feet, trying to recover perishable evidence. Federal officials are not expected to reach a conclusion about the cause of the accident for months.

But asked Monday whether the crash had been survivable, Ms. Homendy replied: “It was a pretty devastating accident scene.”

The Lakers and the Clippers will not play as planned on Tuesday night, the N.B.A. said Monday, as the players and others throughout basketball grieve the death of Kobe Bryant, a star with the Lakers for two decades.

In a statement, the league said the game had been postponed to a later date, which was not immediately announced, “out of respect for the Lakers organization.”

Soon after the league’s announcement, the Lakers expressed gratitude for the public outpouring of support.

“This is a very difficult time for all of us,” the team said in a statement.

The Lakers last played Saturday, when they lost at Philadelphia, and were traveling back to California when word of the helicopter crash that took Bryant’s life emerged. Staples Center, where both the Lakers and Clippers play their home games, has been the site of impromptu gatherings and tributes since Bryant’s death.

Eight other N.B.A. games scheduled for Tuesday are expected to be played as planned.

The helicopter that crashed on Sunday with Kobe Bryant and eight other people on board, killing everyone, had received approval to fly through the controlled airspace around Burbank even though weather conditions were worse than usual standards for flying.

The helicopter flew north from Orange County after takeoff on Sunday morning and circled near Burbank, waiting for clearance to keep going. According to audio records between the helicopter’s pilot and air traffic control at Burbank Airport, the helicopter was given what is known as Special Visual Flight Rules clearance, meaning they could proceed through Burbank’s airspace on a foggy morning in Southern California.

Whether the pilot made the right decision — to continue flying on despite low fog in the hillsides of Calabasas, where the aircraft crashed — will likely be at the center of the investigation into the cause of the crash.

Any special clearance from air traffic controllers would have allowed the pilot to fly through the controlled airspace around Burbank and Van Nuys, but would not give the flight “blanket clearance” to continue on from there to Calabasas, according to a Federal Aviation Administration official.

“A pilot is responsible for determining whether it is safe to fly in current and expected conditions, and a pilot is also responsible for determining flight visibility,” said the official, who spoke on condition of anonymity because he was not authorized to discuss details of the investigation.

Once the pilot left Burbank’s control zone, the official added, it would have been up to him to either make sure there were appropriate visual flight conditions, or transition to flying solely with the use of his instruments, which would have required an additional F.A.A. clearance.

According to F.A.A. records, the pilot was not only certified to fly under instrument conditions, but to teach other pilots seeking to obtain their instrument ratings. His commercial pilot’s license was issued in 2007.

Officially transitioning to instrument flight rules would have allowed the pilot to go on flying, even with very low visibility, but would not have allowed the flight to land except at an airport. The pilot might also have had to gain altitude in order to be fully visible on radar used by controllers.

Just before losing radio contact, the pilot had asked for “flight following,” which allows controllers to track the flight and be in regular contact, under his “special” visual flight clearance.

The controller responded that the helicopter was “too low level for flight following at this time.”

Sergeant Yvette Tuning, who was the watch commander for the Los Angeles Police Department’s Air Support Division on the morning of the crash, said that most of the Los Angeles basin was so cloudy that flights could be conducted only under instrument rules, on Sunday morning.

L.A.P.D. helicopters do not generally fly under those conditions because officers need to be able to see while doing air patrols. The visibility was less than two and a half miles from the department’s heliport near Union Station in downtown Los Angeles, she said.

She said these conditions occur more often in the winter and early in the summer, when fog along the coast is commonplace.

Tuning said the weather this winter, as it was on Monday morning, has been fairly clear, allowing helicopters to operate normally.

“But yesterday when I came to work I immediately saw it as I came down into the valley, that it was just socked in,” Tuning said. “So I already knew we” — meaning L.A.P.D. Air Support — “weren’t going to be flying unless it burned off quick. And it did not burn off quick.”

Scott Daehlin, 61, said the fog had been “as thick as swimming in a pool of milk” when he walked out of Church in the Canyon at 9:40 a.m. on Sunday.

He had come out of the Presbyterian church, which is across the street from the crash site, to get sound equipment for the Sunday service, when the sound of a helicopter coming low and loud through the thick marine layer prompted him to look up.

“I couldn’t see anything, not even a silhouette,” he said as he looked across the street where the steep mountainside rose, the grassy slope now littered with wreckage. “My first thought was what in the world is a helicopter doing out here in this fog?”

Low cloud layers are common in the area, but on Sunday the fog was so thick it came nearly to the ground and made visibility so low, church members said, that they had trouble driving.

For about 20 seconds on Sunday morning, Daehlin followed the sound of the helicopter as it swept over the church parking lot and south toward the crest of the Santa Monica Mountains. It sounded even and normal, but, he said, “it sounded too low.”

“It sounded almost like the pilot was hovering, trying to find his way,” said Daehlin, who said his father was a pilot. He added “I had a sinking feeling in my stomach, and I was saying, ‘Get some altitude.’”

Then he heard a loud thump and the crack of what sounded like fiberglass, and all sound from the engines stopped.

He called 911 and directed fire crews to the hillside. He could not see the crash because of the fog, but saw some smoke and heard several pops as the wreckage burned.

ImageWestlake Legal Group merlin_167886834_4a12c1a5-2dd4-4a73-904c-aefa88957758-articleLarge Live Updates on Death of Kobe Bryant: Pilot Was Trying to Fly Higher Los Angeles Lakers Los Angeles (Calif) Deaths (Fatalities) California CALABASAS, Calif. Bryant, Kobe Bryant, Gianna (2006-20) basketball Aviation Accidents, Safety and Disasters

The aircraft that crashed, shown here in February 2018, was a Sikorsky S-76B helicopter.Credit…Matt Hartman/Associated Press

The retired Los Angeles Lakers star Kobe Bryant, 41, and his daughter Gianna died in a helicopter crash near Calabasas, Calif., on Sunday, along with seven other victims.

The helicopter was flying from Orange County, Calif., where the Bryant family lives, and crashed in foggy conditions about 30 miles northwest of downtown Los Angeles as it was en route to Bryant’s youth basketball academy.

The other passengers included the pilot, Ara Zobayan; the college baseball coach John Altobelli and Altobelli’s wife, Keri, and daughter Alyssa; Christina Mauser, a basketball coach; and Sarah and Payton Chester, a mother and daughter who lived in Orange County.

Sheriff Alex Villanueva of Los Angeles County said the helicopter went down in an area with “very rough terrain,” and that even emergency crews had found it dangerous trying to get there during daylight on Sunday. The debris field, he said, was roughly 100 yards in each direction.

The National Transportation Safety Board said it would look at the history of the pilot and any crew on board.

“We’ll be looking at maintenance records of the helicopter,” said Jennifer Homendy, a member of the board. “We will be looking at records of the owner and operator of the helicopter and a number of other things.”

It was not immediately clear how many passengers the helicopter was approved to transport, or whether the helicopter was overloaded.

The chief medical examiner for Los Angeles County, Dr. Jonathan R. Lucas, said it could take several days to recover the bodies from the crash site.

“We will be doing our work thoroughly, quickly and with the utmost compassion,” Lucas said. “We’re doing everything we can to confirm identifications and give closure to the families involved.”

The helicopter was traveling to the Mamba Sports Academy in Thousand Oaks, Calif., and its passengers included Bryant’s 13-year-old daughter Gianna, who played at the school.

Bryant coached her team, and Gianna, whose nickname was Gigi, was “hellbent” on playing for the University of Connecticut and in the W.N.B.A., he told The Los Angeles Times last year.

At a UConn game last year, the father and daughter sat courtside and Bryant was asked about his daughter picking up the game by SNY. “I watch the game through my daughter’s eyes,” he said.

John Altobelli, 56, a longtime baseball coach at Orange Coast College, a junior college in Costa Mesa. Calif., was also on the helicopter with his wife, Keri, and daughter Alyssa, according to a college spokesman.

“This is a tremendous loss for our campus community,” said Angelica Suarez, the president of Orange Coast College, in a statement.

Last year, Altobelli led the Pirates to the California Community College baseball state championship, their fourth state title with the coach, and he was named one of the American Baseball Coaches Association coaches of the year.

Jeff McNeil, a Mets All-Star infielder, had been coached by Altobelli, and told ESPN, “Him taking that chance on me, having me on his team, got me drafted.”

Although the California authorities have not publicly identified the victims, their relatives, friends and employers announced and grieved the deaths. The other victims are:

  • Sarah and Payton Chester, a mother and daughter who lived in Orange County

  • Christina Mauser, a California basketball coach who had worked with Gianna Bryant

  • Ara Zobayan, a pilot

Many of the mourners who have grieved Bryant’s death in and around Los Angeles have been Latinos with whom the Lakers star cultivated a special bond over his 20-year career.

“Latino fans are important to me because when I arrived, they were the fans who most passionately embraced me,” he said in 2016 after his final N.B.A. game. “I told them, ‘Give me two or three years so that I can learn a little bit of Spanish.’ Now, my Spanish is not that good, but I can speak a little. They mean everything to me.”

And so as Los Angeles has reeled from the loss of one of its athletic greats, Latino fans have flocked to vigils and memorials, referring to Bryant as “compa,” slang for a friend (and short for the Spanish word “compadre”).

Bryant’s ties to Latinos also extended beyond his professional life: With his wife, Vanessa, he has raised four black Mexican-American daughters in Southern California.

Bryant’s company spent years applying for trademarks.

There was Black Mamba, Bryant’s nickname. There was Mamba Mentality. And, more recently, there was Mambacita, Gianna’s nickname.

Bryant’s company applied for the trademark in December, seeking to safeguard a burgeoning brand that seemed poised to become more valuable as Gianna’s basketball stock soared.

Her ambitions included playing in the W.N.B.A., and in a filing with the United States Patent and Trademark Office, her father’s company suggested it wanted to protect the use of the name Mambacita on athletic shirts and shorts, jerseys, sweatpants and sweatshirts, among other items.

Bryant used the nickname on his Instagram account as recently as Jan. 14, when he posted a video from a gymnasium and said his daughter was “getting better every day.”

Bryant had posted another video with the nickname in November, when he slyly noted “a familiar looking fade.”

Bryant was drafted to the N.B.A. directly out of high school in 1996, helped lead the Los Angeles Lakers to five championships, and was named an All-Star in 18 of his 20 seasons for the team. His hypercompetitive nature could lead to drama among coaches and teammates — which sometimes spilled over into public — but his commitment to winning was never questioned.

Adam Silver, the N.B.A. commissioner, hailed Bryant as “one of the most extraordinary players in the history of our game.”

“For 20 seasons, Kobe showed us what is possible when remarkable talent blends with an absolute devotion to winning,” Silver said, adding that Bryant would “be remembered most for inspiring people around the world to pick up a basketball and compete to the very best of their ability.”

Bryant’s tenacity and intensity won him respect from rivals and inspired those who followed him into the game. Tributes from other athletes rolled in on Sunday, as Bryant’s friends and rivals shared what he meant to them. His former teammate, Shaquille O’Neal, said he would hug Bryant’s children “like they were my own.”

Michael Jordan said in a statement that he spoke to Bryant often and that he was “like a little brother to me.” Dwyane Wade, the former Miami Heat star, said on Instagram that Bryant “was who I chased” and that it was “one of the saddest days in my lifetime.”

Bryant’s résumé included the N.B.A.’s Most Valuable Player Award for the 2007-8 season, the finals M.V.P. in both 2009 and 2010, an 81-point game in 2006 that is the second-highest single-game total in N.B.A. history and a sterling pedigree on the international stage, where he won gold medals for U.S.A. Basketball in the 2008 and 2012 Olympics.

In 2016, after various injuries had taken their toll on the longtime superstar, he ended his career by scoring 60 points in his final game.

Off the court, Bryant’s legacy was far more complicated. He was arrested in 2003 after a sexual assault complaint was filed against him in Colorado. A 19-year-old hotel employee claimed that Bryant, who was working to rehabilitate his knee following surgery, had raped her. The legal case against Bryant was eventually dropped, and a civil suit was settled privately out of court, but Bryant publicly apologized for the incident.

“Although I truly believe this encounter between us was consensual, I recognize now that she did not and does not view this incident the same way I did,” he said in his statement. “After months of reviewing discovery, listening to her attorney, and even her testimony in person, I now understand how she feels that she did not consent to this encounter.”

In retirement, Bryant expanded his purview, winning an Academy Award in 2018 for his animated short film “Dear Basketball” while also creating the web series “Detail” for ESPN in which he analyzed current players. He was scheduled to headline the 2020 N.B.A. Hall of Fame nominees.

Kobe Bryant may not have been the driver of the N.B.A.’s extraordinary growth abroad, but he was a core vehicle for it, acting as an ambassador for basketball throughout his career, both for the league’s interests and his own. He played on two Olympic teams, winning gold medals in 2008 (Beijing) and 2012 (London). In 2018, Bryant was named, along with Yao Ming, a global ambassador for last year’s FIBA Basketball World Cup.

“Stern’s vision was always to make the N.B.A. a global sport and certainly, he was a commissioner who embraced that,” Michael Veley, a professor of sport management at Syracuse University, said. “But he needed players to also buy into that. It started with the Olympic team — The Dream Team — but after some of the superstars like Charles Barkley and Michael Jordan, the baton had to be passed on to other people who not only were going to be great players, but were going to represent the sport and talk about it on an international stage.”

Matteo Zuretti, the head of international relations for the N.B.A. players union, said in an interview that Bryant’s dominant play alone helped the league encourage more people outside the United States to take up the sport.

“When you are an international player and you stay up until 4 a.m. to watch your idol play, you’re so much removed from him that you develop a special connection,” Zuretti said. “Kobe had been super relevant for people in Los Angeles. But for a generation of international players, he was the winner and idol.”

Three American presidents and athletes, celebrities and fans around the world grieved for Bryant, who became a superstar as basketball grew into an international sensation.

President Trump said that Bryant was “just getting started in life,” even after a career that forever marked him as one of basketball’s greats.

“He loved his family so much, and had such strong passion for the future,” the president wrote on Twitter. “The loss of his beautiful daughter, Gianna, makes this moment even more devastating.”

Former President Barack Obama, who once welcomed the Lakers to the White House, posted on Twitter that Bryant was “a legend on the court and just getting started in what would have been just as meaningful a second act.”

The death of Bryant’s daughter, the former president added, “is even more heartbreaking to us as parents.”

Former President Bill Clinton, who was in the White House when Bryant ascended to the N.B.A., and his wife, former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, extolled how Bryant “brought excitement and joy to basketball fans not just in Los Angeles, but all over the U.S. and around the world.”

The Brazilian soccer star Neymar Jr. paid tribute to Bryant, as did the tennis player Naomi Osaka, who thanked him “for caring and checking up on me after my hard losses.”

Colin Kaepernick, the former N.F.L. quarterback whose kneeling during the national anthem in protest of racism and police brutality inspired a number of athletes to speak out publicly, said on Twitter that he would remember Bryant as a “basketball legend, a father & a man.”

The Italian Basketball Federation said on Monday that it would hold a moment of silence in every game this week for Bryant, who lived in Italy from ages 6 to 13 while his father played professional basketball there.

Bryant was fluent in Italian, and once said it would be a “dream” to play for the country, but in 2011, when an Italian team, Virtus Bologna, offered him a one-year contract during the N.B.A. lockout, the deal fell through, The Associated Press reported.

“It’s a small but heartfelt and deserved gesture to honor the life and memory of Kobe Bryant, an absolute champion who always had Italy in his heart,” the federation said in a statement. Bryant, the statement said, “was and will always be linked to our country.”

Los Angeles woke up Monday grappling with the loss of a global superstar who was, to Southern California, still a local hero. On Sunday, spontaneous shrines and vigils cropped up around the region, including outside Staples Center, the home of the Lakers, the team he played with for 20 seasons.

“He was not a perfect man, but we all have our faults,” Joe Rivas, a 28-year-old registered nurse, said on Sunday. “It’s beyond basketball.”

Los Angeles County officials have been worried by the number of people who tried to visit the crash site, which they said is located amid challenging terrain.

“We’re now faced with, I guess, well-wishers and people mourning who have descended on the area, on the residential community and even the crash site itself,” Sheriff Alex Villanueva said on Sunday evening. “We have to reiterate that it is off-limits to everybody except the first responders and investigators.”

Mourners, he said, could gather at a nearby park.

Tuesday promises to be a challenging day in Los Angeles, where the Lakers will play their first game since Bryant’s death. Their opponent? The Los Angeles Clippers.

The Washington Post suspended one of its reporters, Felicia Sonmez, after she published a series of tweets about Bryant in the hours after his death.

Sonmez initially tweeted a link to a Daily Beast article about sexual assault allegations made against Bryant in 2003 — a missive that stood out in the general outpouring of appreciation for Bryant and drew a swift backlash.

She followed up with a post about the negative responses she had received, including a screenshot of an email she had received that used offensive language, called her a lewd name and displayed the sender’s full name.

It was not immediately clear if any specific tweet prompted the suspension, and The Post said it was reviewing “whether tweets about the death of Kobe Bryant violated The Post newsroom’s social media policy.”

Separately, as the sheriff of Los Angeles County, Alex Villanueva, gave one of his first official update on the investigation, he declined to say whether Bryant was one of the victims and offered a pointed rebuke to the news organization that broke the news.

“It would be extremely disrespectful to understand your loved one has perished and you learn about it from TMZ,” he said. “That is just wholly inappropriate so we are not going to be going there. We are going to wait until the coroner does their job.”

TMZ did not immediately respond to a request for comment. The news media also drew criticism on Sunday after inaccurate reports circulated that four of Bryant’s children were killed in the crash, and a reporter for ABC News apologized for the report.

Reporting was contributed by Louis Keene, Kevin Draper, Elena Bergeron, Jennifer Medina, Neil Vigdor, Sopan Deb, Nicholas Bogel-Burroughs, Sarah Mervosh, Marc Stein, Jill Cowan, Miriam Jordan, Mihir Zaveri, Jon Hurdle, Rachel Abrams, Benjamin Hoffman, Jonah Engel Bromwich and Daniel Victor.

Real Estate, and Personal Injury Lawyers. Contact us at: https://westlakelegal.com 

Live Updates on Death of Kobe Bryant: Lakers-Clippers Game Postponed

Video

transcript

Fans and Friends Mourn Kobe Bryant After Helicopter Crash

The retired N.B.A. star, 41, was among the passengers in a helicopter that went down in Calabasas, Calif.

“We’re all feeling crazy sadness right now because earlier today Los Angeles, America and the whole wide world lost a hero, and we’re literally standing here heartbroken in the house that Kobe Bryant built.” “Tonight is for Kobe —” [singing] “Kobe, my thoughts are with you. Absolutely rest in peace, young man — this loss is, it’s just hard to comprehend.” “He was just such a wonderful kid. But more than that, has turned into a wonderful adult man.” “Everything I do, I do it for him, obviously — really close friend, and this season’s for him.” Crowd: “Kobe, Kobe, Kobe, Kobe, Kobe, Kobe.” Announcer: “The N.B.A and the game of basketball will mourn this loss together. Please join us in a moment of silence for Kobe Bryant. Rest in peace, Mamba.”

Westlake Legal Group 27kobe-briefing-HS-videoSixteenByNine3000 Live Updates on Death of Kobe Bryant: Lakers-Clippers Game Postponed Los Angeles Lakers Los Angeles (Calif) Deaths (Fatalities) California CALABASAS, Calif. Bryant, Kobe Bryant, Gianna (2006-20) basketball Aviation Accidents, Safety and Disasters

The retired N.B.A. star, 41, was among the passengers in a helicopter that went down in Calabasas, Calif.CreditCredit…Hannah Yoon for The New York Times

Here’s what you need to know:

The Lakers and the Clippers will not play as planned on Tuesday night, the N.B.A. said Monday, as the players and others throughout basketball grieve the death of Kobe Bryant, a star with the Lakers for two decades.

In a statement, the league said the game had been postponed to a later date, which was not immediately announced, “out of respect for the Lakers organization.”

Soon after the league’s announcement, the Lakers expressed gratitude for the public outpouring of support.

“This is a very difficult time for all of us,” the team said in a statement.

The Lakers last played Saturday, when they lost at Philadelphia, and were traveling back to California when word of the helicopter crash that took Bryant’s life emerged. Staples Center, where both the Lakers and Clippers play their home games, has been the site of impromptu gatherings and tributes since Bryant’s death.

Eight other N.B.A. games scheduled for Tuesday are expected to be played as planned.

The helicopter that crashed on Sunday with Kobe Bryant and eight other people on board, killing everyone, had received approval to fly through the controlled airspace around Burbank even though weather conditions were worse than usual standards for flying.

The helicopter flew north from Orange County after takeoff on Sunday morning and circled near Burbank, waiting for clearance to keep going. According to audio records between the helicopter’s pilot and air traffic control at Burbank Airport, the helicopter was given what is known as Special Visual Flight Rules clearance, meaning they could proceed through Burbank’s airspace on a foggy morning in Southern California.

Whether the pilot made the right decision — to continue flying on despite low fog in the hillsides of Calabasas, where the aircraft crashed — will likely be at the center of the investigation into the cause of the crash.

Any special clearance from air traffic controllers would have allowed the pilot to fly through the controlled airspace around Burbank and Van Nuys, but would not give the flight “blanket clearance” to continue on from there to Calabasas, according to a Federal Aviation Administration official.

“A pilot is responsible for determining whether it is safe to fly in current and expected conditions, and a pilot is also responsible for determining flight visibility,” said the official, who spoke on condition of anonymity because he was not authorized to discuss details of the investigation.

Once the pilot left Burbank’s control zone, the official added, it would have been up to him to either make sure there were appropriate visual flight conditions, or transition to flying solely with the use of his instruments, which would have required an additional F.A.A. clearance.

According to F.A.A. records, the pilot was not only certified to fly under instrument conditions, but to teach other pilots seeking to obtain their instrument ratings. His commercial pilot’s license was issued in 2007.

Officially transitioning to instrument flight rules would have allowed the pilot to go on flying, even with very low visibility, but would not have allowed the flight to land except at an airport. The pilot might also have had to gain altitude in order to be fully visible on radar used by controllers.

Just before losing radio contact, the pilot had asked for “flight following,” which allows controllers to track the flight and be in regular contact, under his “special” visual flight clearance.

The controller responded that the helicopter was “too low level for flight following at this time.”

Sergeant Yvette Tuning, who was the watch commander for the Los Angeles Police Department’s Air Support Division on the morning of the crash, said that most of the Los Angeles basin was so cloudy that flights could be conducted only under instrument rules, on Sunday morning.

L.A.P.D. helicopters do not generally fly under those conditions because officers need to be able to see while doing air patrols. The visibility was less than two and a half miles from the department’s heliport near Union Station in downtown Los Angeles, she said.

She said these conditions occur more often in the winter and early in the summer, when fog along the coast is commonplace.

Tuning said the weather this winter, as it was on Monday morning, has been fairly clear, allowing helicopters to operate normally.

“But yesterday when I came to work I immediately saw it as I came down into the valley, that it was just socked in,” Tuning said. “So I already knew we” — meaning L.A.P.D. Air Support — “weren’t going to be flying unless it burned off quick. And it did not burn off quick.”

Scott Daehlin, 61, said the fog had been “as thick as swimming in a pool of milk” when he walked out of Church in the Canyon at 9:40 a.m. on Sunday.

He had come out of the Presbyterian church, which is across the street from the crash site, to get sound equipment for the Sunday service, when the sound of a helicopter coming low and loud through the thick marine layer prompted him to look up.

“I couldn’t see anything, not even a silhouette,” he said as he looked across the street where the steep mountainside rose, the grassy slope now littered with wreckage. “My first thought was what in the world is a helicopter doing out here in this fog?”

Low cloud layers are common in the area, but on Sunday the fog was so thick it came nearly to the ground and made visibility so low, church members said, that they had trouble driving.

For about 20 seconds on Sunday morning, Daehlin followed the sound of the helicopter as it swept over the church parking lot and south toward the crest of the Santa Monica Mountains. It sounded even and normal, but, he said, “it sounded too low.”

“It sounded almost like the pilot was hovering, trying to find his way,” said Daehlin, who said his father was a pilot. He added “I had a sinking feeling in my stomach, and I was saying, ‘Get some altitude.’”

Then he heard a loud thump and the crack of what sounded like fiberglass, and all sound from the engines stopped.

He called 911 and directed fire crews to the hillside. He could not see the crash because of the fog, but saw some smoke and heard several pops as the wreckage burned.

ImageWestlake Legal Group merlin_167886834_4a12c1a5-2dd4-4a73-904c-aefa88957758-articleLarge Live Updates on Death of Kobe Bryant: Lakers-Clippers Game Postponed Los Angeles Lakers Los Angeles (Calif) Deaths (Fatalities) California CALABASAS, Calif. Bryant, Kobe Bryant, Gianna (2006-20) basketball Aviation Accidents, Safety and Disasters

The aircraft that crashed, shown here in February 2018, was a Sikorsky S-76B helicopter.Credit…Matt Hartman/Associated Press

The retired Los Angeles Lakers star Kobe Bryant, 41, and his daughter Gianna died in a helicopter crash near Calabasas, Calif., on Sunday, along with seven other victims.

The helicopter was flying from Orange County, Calif., where the Bryant family lives, and crashed in foggy conditions about 30 miles northwest of downtown Los Angeles as it was en route to Bryant’s youth basketball academy.

The other passengers included the pilot, Ara Zobayan; the college baseball coach John Altobelli and Altobelli’s wife, Keri, and daughter Alyssa; Christina Mauser, a basketball coach; and Sarah and Payton Chester, a mother and daughter who lived in Orange County.

Sheriff Alex Villanueva of Los Angeles County said the helicopter went down in an area with “very rough terrain,” and that even emergency crews had found it dangerous trying to get there during daylight on Sunday. The debris field, he said, was roughly 100 yards in each direction.

The National Transportation Safety Board said it would look at the history of the pilot and any crew on board.

“We’ll be looking at maintenance records of the helicopter,” said Jennifer Homendy, a member of the board. “We will be looking at records of the owner and operator of the helicopter and a number of other things.”

It was not immediately clear how many passengers the helicopter was approved to transport, or whether the helicopter was overloaded.

The chief medical examiner for Los Angeles County, Dr. Jonathan R. Lucas, said it could take several days to recover the bodies from the crash site.

“We will be doing our work thoroughly, quickly and with the utmost compassion,” Lucas said. “We’re doing everything we can to confirm identifications and give closure to the families involved.”

John Altobelli, 56, a longtime baseball coach at Orange Coast College, a junior college in Costa Mesa. Calif., was also on the helicopter with his wife, Keri, and daughter Alyssa, according to a college spokesman.

“This is a tremendous loss for our campus community,” said Angelica Suarez, the president of Orange Coast College, in a statement.

Last year, Altobelli led the Pirates to the California Community College baseball state championship, their fourth state title with the coach, and he was named one of the American Baseball Coaches Association coaches of the year.

Jeff McNeil, a Mets All-Star infielder, had been coached by Altobelli, and told ESPN, “Him taking that chance on me, having me on his team, got me drafted.”

Although the California authorities have not publicly identified the victims, their relatives, friends and employers announced and grieved the deaths. The other victims are:

  • Sarah and Payton Chester, a mother and daughter who lived in Orange County

  • Christina Mauser, a California basketball coach who had worked with Gianna Bryant

  • Ara Zobayan, a pilot

Many of the mourners who have grieved Bryant’s death in and around Los Angeles have been Latinos with whom the Lakers star cultivated a special bond over his 20-year career.

“Latino fans are important to me because when I arrived, they were the fans who most passionately embraced me,” he said in 2016 after his final N.B.A. game. “I told them, ‘Give me two or three years so that I can learn a little bit of Spanish.’ Now, my Spanish is not that good, but I can speak a little. They mean everything to me.”

And so as Los Angeles has reeled from the loss of one of its athletic greats, Latino fans have flocked to vigils and memorials, referring to Bryant as “compa,” slang for a friend (and short for the Spanish word “compadre”).

Bryant’s ties to Latinos also extended beyond his professional life: With his wife, Vanessa, he has raised four black Mexican-American daughters in Southern California.

Bryant’s company spent years applying for trademarks.

There was Black Mamba, Bryant’s nickname. There was Mamba Mentality. And, more recently, there was Mambacita, Gianna’s nickname.

Bryant’s company applied for the trademark in December, seeking to safeguard a burgeoning brand that seemed poised to become more valuable as Gianna’s basketball stock soared.

Her ambitions included playing in the W.N.B.A., and in a filing with the United States Patent and Trademark Office, her father’s company suggested it wanted to protect the use of the name Mambacita on athletic shirts and shorts, jerseys, sweatpants and sweatshirts, among other items.

Bryant used the nickname on his Instagram account as recently as Jan. 14, when he posted a video from a gymnasium and said his daughter was “getting better every day.”

Bryant had posted another video with the nickname in November, when he slyly noted “a familiar looking fade.”

Bryant was drafted to the N.B.A. directly out of high school in 1996, helped lead the Los Angeles Lakers to five championships, and was named an All-Star in 18 of his 20 seasons for the team. His hypercompetitive nature could lead to drama among coaches and teammates — which sometimes spilled over into public — but his commitment to winning was never questioned.

Adam Silver, the N.B.A. commissioner, hailed Bryant as “one of the most extraordinary players in the history of our game.”

“For 20 seasons, Kobe showed us what is possible when remarkable talent blends with an absolute devotion to winning,” Silver said, adding that Bryant would “be remembered most for inspiring people around the world to pick up a basketball and compete to the very best of their ability.”

Bryant’s tenacity and intensity won him respect from rivals and inspired those who followed him into the game. Tributes from other athletes rolled in on Sunday, as Bryant’s friends and rivals shared what he meant to them. His former teammate, Shaquille O’Neal, said he would hug Bryant’s children “like they were my own.”

Michael Jordan said in a statement that he spoke to Bryant often and that he was “like a little brother to me.” Dwyane Wade, the former Miami Heat star, said on Instagram that Bryant “was who I chased” and that it was “one of the saddest days in my lifetime.”

Bryant’s résumé included the N.B.A.’s Most Valuable Player Award for the 2007-8 season, the finals M.V.P. in both 2009 and 2010, an 81-point game in 2006 that is the second-highest single-game total in N.B.A. history and a sterling pedigree on the international stage, where he won gold medals for U.S.A. Basketball in the 2008 and 2012 Olympics.

In 2016, after various injuries had taken their toll on the longtime superstar, he ended his career by scoring 60 points in his final game.

Off the court, Bryant’s legacy was far more complicated. He was arrested in 2003 after a sexual assault complaint was filed against him in Colorado. A 19-year-old hotel employee claimed that Bryant, who was working to rehabilitate his knee following surgery, had raped her. The legal case against Bryant was eventually dropped, and a civil suit was settled privately out of court, but Bryant publicly apologized for the incident.

“Although I truly believe this encounter between us was consensual, I recognize now that she did not and does not view this incident the same way I did,” he said in his statement. “After months of reviewing discovery, listening to her attorney, and even her testimony in person, I now understand how she feels that she did not consent to this encounter.”

In retirement, Bryant expanded his purview, winning an Academy Award in 2018 for his animated short film “Dear Basketball” while also creating the web series “Detail” for ESPN in which he analyzed current players. He was scheduled to headline the 2020 N.B.A. Hall of Fame nominees.

Kobe Bryant may not have been the driver of the N.B.A.’s extraordinary growth abroad, but he was a core vehicle for it, acting as an ambassador for basketball throughout his career, both for the league’s interests and his own. He played on two Olympic teams, winning gold medals in 2008 (Beijing) and 2012 (London). In 2018, Bryant was named, along with Yao Ming, a global ambassador for last year’s FIBA Basketball World Cup.

“Stern’s vision was always to make the N.B.A. a global sport and certainly, he was a commissioner who embraced that,” Michael Veley, a professor of sport management at Syracuse University, said. “But he needed players to also buy into that. It started with the Olympic team — The Dream Team — but after some of the superstars like Charles Barkley and Michael Jordan, the baton had to be passed on to other people who not only were going to be great players, but were going to represent the sport and talk about it on an international stage.”

Matteo Zuretti, the head of international relations for the N.B.A. players union, said in an interview that Bryant’s dominant play alone helped the league encourage more people outside the United States to take up the sport.

“When you are an international player and you stay up until 4 a.m. to watch your idol play, you’re so much removed from him that you develop a special connection,” Zuretti said. “Kobe had been super relevant for people in Los Angeles. But for a generation of international players, he was the winner and idol.”

Three American presidents and athletes, celebrities and fans around the world grieved for Bryant, who became a superstar as basketball grew into an international sensation.

President Trump said that Bryant was “just getting started in life,” even after a career that forever marked him as one of basketball’s greats.

“He loved his family so much, and had such strong passion for the future,” the president wrote on Twitter. “The loss of his beautiful daughter, Gianna, makes this moment even more devastating.”

Former President Barack Obama, who once welcomed the Lakers to the White House, posted on Twitter that Bryant was “a legend on the court and just getting started in what would have been just as meaningful a second act.”

The death of Bryant’s daughter, the former president added, “is even more heartbreaking to us as parents.”

Former President Bill Clinton, who was in the White House when Bryant ascended to the N.B.A., and his wife, former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, extolled how Bryant “brought excitement and joy to basketball fans not just in Los Angeles, but all over the U.S. and around the world.”

The Brazilian soccer star Neymar Jr. paid tribute to Bryant, as did the tennis player Naomi Osaka, who thanked him “for caring and checking up on me after my hard losses.”

Colin Kaepernick, the former N.F.L. quarterback whose kneeling during the national anthem in protest of racism and police brutality inspired a number of athletes to speak out publicly, said on Twitter that he would remember Bryant as a “basketball legend, a father & a man.”

The Italian Basketball Federation said on Monday that it would hold a moment of silence in every game this week for Bryant, who lived in Italy from ages 6 to 13 while his father played professional basketball there.

Bryant was fluent in Italian, and once said it would be a “dream” to play for the country, but in 2011, when an Italian team, Virtus Bologna, offered him a one-year contract during the N.B.A. lockout, the deal fell through, The Associated Press reported.

“It’s a small but heartfelt and deserved gesture to honor the life and memory of Kobe Bryant, an absolute champion who always had Italy in his heart,” the federation said in a statement. Bryant, the statement said, “was and will always be linked to our country.”

Los Angeles woke up Monday grappling with the loss of a global superstar who was, to Southern California, still a local hero. On Sunday, spontaneous shrines and vigils cropped up around the region, including outside Staples Center, the home of the Lakers, the team he played with for 20 seasons.

“He was not a perfect man, but we all have our faults,” Joe Rivas, a 28-year-old registered nurse, said on Sunday. “It’s beyond basketball.”

Los Angeles County officials have been worried by the number of people who tried to visit the crash site, which they said is located amid challenging terrain.

“We’re now faced with, I guess, well-wishers and people mourning who have descended on the area, on the residential community and even the crash site itself,” Sheriff Alex Villanueva said on Sunday evening. “We have to reiterate that it is off-limits to everybody except the first responders and investigators.”

Mourners, he said, could gather at a nearby park.

Tuesday promises to be a challenging day in Los Angeles, where the Lakers will play their first game since Bryant’s death. Their opponent? The Los Angeles Clippers.

The Washington Post suspended one of its reporters, Felicia Sonmez, after she published a series of tweets about Bryant in the hours after his death.

Sonmez initially tweeted a link to a Daily Beast article about sexual assault allegations made against Bryant in 2003 — a missive that stood out in the general outpouring of appreciation for Bryant and drew a swift backlash.

She followed up with a post about the negative responses she had received, including a screenshot of an email she had received that used offensive language, called her a lewd name and displayed the sender’s full name.

It was not immediately clear if any specific tweet prompted the suspension, and The Post said it was reviewing “whether tweets about the death of Kobe Bryant violated The Post newsroom’s social media policy.”

Separately, as the sheriff of Los Angeles County, Alex Villanueva, gave one of his first official update on the investigation, he declined to say whether Bryant was one of the victims and offered a pointed rebuke to the news organization that broke the news.

“It would be extremely disrespectful to understand your loved one has perished and you learn about it from TMZ,” he said. “That is just wholly inappropriate so we are not going to be going there. We are going to wait until the coroner does their job.”

TMZ did not immediately respond to a request for comment. The news media also drew criticism on Sunday after inaccurate reports circulated that four of Bryant’s children were killed in the crash, and a reporter for ABC News apologized for the report.

Reporting was contributed by Louis Keene, Kevin Draper, Elena Bergeron, Jennifer Medina, Neil Vigdor, Sopan Deb, Nicholas Bogel-Burroughs, Sarah Mervosh, Marc Stein, Jill Cowan, Miriam Jordan, Mihir Zaveri, Jon Hurdle, Rachel Abrams, Benjamin Hoffman, Jonah Engel Bromwich and Daniel Victor.

Real Estate, and Personal Injury Lawyers. Contact us at: https://westlakelegal.com 

Helicopter With Kobe Bryant Approved to Fly in Fog: Live Updates

ImageWestlake Legal Group merlin_167927064_81cf96bf-d933-4fc9-ad42-dd886feef481-articleLarge Helicopter With Kobe Bryant Approved to Fly in Fog: Live Updates Los Angeles Lakers Los Angeles (Calif) Deaths (Fatalities) California CALABASAS, Calif. Bryant, Kobe Bryant, Gianna (2006-20) basketball Aviation Accidents, Safety and Disasters

A memorial for Kobe Bryant sits outside of Lower Merion High School in Ardmore, Pa., near Philadelphia. Bryant played at the school before going to the N.B.A.Credit…Hannah Yoon for The New York Times

Here’s what you need to know:

The helicopter that crashed on Sunday with Kobe Bryant and eight other people on board, killing everyone, had received approval to fly through the controlled airspace around Burbank even though weather conditions were worse than usual standards for flying.

The helicopter flew north from Orange County after takeoff on Sunday morning and circled near Burbank, waiting for clearance to keep going. According to audio records between the helicopter’s pilot and air traffic control at Burbank Airport, the helicopter was given what is known as Special Visual Flight Rules clearance, meaning they could proceed through Burbank’s airspace on a foggy morning in Southern California.

Whether the pilot made the right decision — to continue flying on despite low fog in the hillsides of Calabasas, where the aircraft crashed — will likely be at the center of the investigation into the cause of the crash.

Any special clearance from air traffic controllers would have allowed the pilot to fly through the controlled airspace around Burbank and Van Nuys, but would not give the flight “blanket clearance” to continue on from there to Calabasas, according to a Federal Aviation Administration official.

“A pilot is responsible for determining whether it is safe to fly in current and expected conditions, and a pilot is also responsible for determining flight visibility,” said the official, who spoke on condition of anonymity because he was not authorized to discuss details of the investigation.

Once the pilot left Burbank’s control zone, the official added, it would have been up to him to either make sure there were appropriate visual flight conditions, or transition to instrument flight rules, with an additional F.A.A. clearance.

According to F.A.A. records, the pilot was not only certified to fly under instrument conditions, but to teach other pilots seeking to obtain their instrument ratings. His commercial pilot’s license was issued in 2007.

Just before losing radio contact, the pilot asked for “flight following,” which allows controllers to track the flight and be in regular contact.

The controller responded that the helicopter was “too low level for flight following at this time.”

Sergeant Yvette Tuning, who was the watch commander for the Los Angeles Police Department’s Air Support Division on the morning of the crash, said that most of the Los Angeles basin was so cloudy that flights could be conducted only under instrument rules, on Sunday morning.

L.A.P.D. helicopters do not generally fly under those conditions because officers need to be able to see while doing air patrols. The visibility was less than two and a half miles from the department’s heliport near Union Station in downtown Los Angeles, she said.

She said these conditions occur more often in the winter and early in the summer, when fog along the coast is commonplace.

Tuning said the weather this winter, as it was on Monday morning, has been fairly clear, allowing helicopters to operate normally.

“But yesterday when I came to work I immediately saw it as I came down into the valley, that it was just socked in,” Tuning said. “So I already knew we” — meaning L.A.P.D. Air Support — “weren’t going to be flying unless it burned off quick. And it did not burn off quick.”

Scott Daehlin, 61, said the fog had been “as thick as swimming in a pool of milk” when he walked out of Church in the Canyon at 9:40 a.m. on Sunday.

He had come out of the Presbyterian church, which is across the street from the crash site, to get sound equipment for the Sunday service, when the sound of a helicopter coming low and loud through the thick marine layer prompted him to look up.

“I couldn’t see anything, not even a silhouette,” he said as he looked across the street where the steep mountainside rose, the grassy slope now littered with wreckage. “My first thought was what in the world is a helicopter doing out here in this fog?”

Low cloud layers are common in the area, but on Sunday the fog was so thick it came nearly to the ground and made visibility so low, church members said, that they had trouble driving.

For about 20 seconds on Sunday morning, Daehlin followed the sound of the helicopter as it swept over the church parking lot and south toward the crest of the Santa Monica Mountains. It sounded even and normal, but, he said, “it sounded too low.”

“It sounded almost like the pilot was hovering, trying to find his way,” said Daehlin, who said his father was a pilot. He added “I had a sinking feeling in my stomach, and I was saying, ‘Get some altitude.’”

Then he heard a loud thump and the crack of what sounded like fiberglass, and all sound from the engines stopped.

He called 911 and directed fire crews to the hillside. He could not see the crash because of the fog, but saw some smoke and heard several pops as the wreckage burned.

The retired Los Angeles Lakers star Kobe Bryant, 41, and his daughter Gianna died in a helicopter crash near Calabasas, Calif., on Sunday, along with seven other victims.

The helicopter was flying from Orange County, Calif., where the Bryant family lives, and crashed in foggy conditions about 30 miles northwest of downtown Los Angeles as it was en route to Bryant’s youth basketball academy.

The other passengers included the pilot, Ara Zobayan; the college baseball coach John Altobelli and Altobelli’s wife, Keri, and daughter Alyssa; Christina Mauser, a basketball coach; and Sarah and Payton Chester, a mother and daughter who lived in Orange County.

Sheriff Alex Villanueva of Los Angeles County said the helicopter went down in an area with “very rough terrain,” and that even emergency crews had found it dangerous trying to get there during daylight on Sunday. The debris field, he said, was roughly 100 yards in each direction.

The National Transportation Safety Board said it would look at the history of the pilot and any crew on board.

“We’ll be looking at maintenance records of the helicopter,” said Jennifer Homendy, a member of the board. “We will be looking at records of the owner and operator of the helicopter and a number of other things.”

It was not immediately clear how many passengers the helicopter was approved to transport, or whether the helicopter was overloaded.

The chief medical examiner for Los Angeles County, Dr. Jonathan R. Lucas, said it could take several days to recover the bodies from the crash site.

“We will be doing our work thoroughly, quickly and with the utmost compassion,” Lucas said. “We’re doing everything we can to confirm identifications and give closure to the families involved.”

At a UConn game last year, the father and daughter sat courtside and Bryant was asked about his daughter picking up the game by SNY. “I watch the game through my daughter’s eyes,” he said.

John Altobelli, 56, a longtime baseball coach at Orange Coast College, a junior college in Costa Mesa. Calif., was also on the helicopter with his wife, Keri, and daughter Alyssa, according to a college spokesman.

“This is a tremendous loss for our campus community,” said Angelica Suarez, the president of Orange Coast College, in a statement.

Last year, Altobelli led the Pirates to the California Community College baseball state championship, their fourth state title with the coach, and he was named one of the American Baseball Coaches Association coaches of the year.

Jeff McNeil, a Mets All-Star infielder, had been coached by Altobelli, and told ESPN, “Him taking that chance on me, having me on his team, got me drafted.”

Although the California authorities have not publicly identified the victims, their relatives, friends and employers announced and grieved the deaths. The other victims are:

  • Sarah and Payton Chester, a mother and daughter who lived in Orange County

  • Christina Mauser, a California basketball coach who had worked with Gianna Bryant

  • Ara Zobayan, a pilot

Bryant’s company spent years applying for trademarks.

There was Black Mamba, Bryant’s nickname. There was Mamba Mentality. And, more recently, there was Mambacita, Gianna’s nickname.

Bryant’s company applied for the trademark in December, seeking to safeguard a burgeoning brand that seemed poised to become more valuable as Gianna’s basketball stock soared.

Her ambitions included playing in the W.N.B.A., and in a filing with the United States Patent and Trademark Office, her father’s company suggested it wanted to protect the use of the name Mambacita on athletic shirts and shorts, jerseys, sweatpants and sweatshirts, among other items.

Bryant used the nickname on his Instagram account as recently as Jan. 14, when he posted a video from a gymnasium and said his daughter was “getting better every day.”

Bryant had posted another video with the nickname in November, when he slyly noted “a familiar looking fade.”

Bryant was drafted to the N.B.A. directly out of high school in 1996, helped lead the Los Angeles Lakers to five championships, and was named an All-Star in 18 of his 20 seasons for the team. His hypercompetitive nature could lead to drama among coaches and teammates — which sometimes spilled over into public — but his commitment to winning was never questioned.

Adam Silver, the N.B.A. commissioner, hailed Bryant as “one of the most extraordinary players in the history of our game.”

“For 20 seasons, Kobe showed us what is possible when remarkable talent blends with an absolute devotion to winning,” Silver said, adding that Bryant would “be remembered most for inspiring people around the world to pick up a basketball and compete to the very best of their ability.”

Bryant’s tenacity and intensity won him respect from rivals and inspired those who followed him into the game. Tributes from other athletes rolled in on Sunday, as Bryant’s friends and rivals shared what he meant to them. His former teammate, Shaquille O’Neal, said he would hug Bryant’s children “like they were my own.”

Michael Jordan said in a statement that he spoke to Bryant often and that he was “like a little brother to me.” Dwyane Wade, the former Miami Heat star, said on Instagram that Bryant “was who I chased” and that it was “one of the saddest days in my lifetime.”

Bryant’s résumé included the N.B.A.’s Most Valuable Player Award for the 2007-8 season, the finals M.V.P. in both 2009 and 2010, an 81-point game in 2006 that is the second-highest single-game total in N.B.A. history and a sterling pedigree on the international stage, where he won gold medals for U.S.A. Basketball in the 2008 and 2012 Olympics.

In 2016, after various injuries had taken their toll on the longtime superstar, he ended his career by scoring 60 points in his final game.

Off the court, Bryant’s legacy was far more complicated. He was arrested in 2003 after a sexual assault complaint was filed against him in Colorado. A 19-year-old hotel employee claimed that Bryant, who was working to rehabilitate his knee following surgery, had raped her. The legal case against Bryant was eventually dropped, and a civil suit was settled privately out of court, but Bryant publicly apologized for the incident.

“Although I truly believe this encounter between us was consensual, I recognize now that she did not and does not view this incident the same way I did,” he said in his statement. “After months of reviewing discovery, listening to her attorney, and even her testimony in person, I now understand how she feels that she did not consent to this encounter.”

In retirement, Bryant expanded his purview, winning an Academy Award in 2018 for his animated short film “Dear Basketball” while also creating the web series “Detail” for ESPN in which he analyzed current players. He was scheduled to headline the 2020 N.B.A. Hall of Fame nominees.

Kobe Bryant may not have been the driver of the N.B.A.’s extraordinary growth abroad, but he was a core vehicle for it, acting as an ambassador for basketball throughout his career, both for the league’s interests and his own. He played on two Olympic teams, winning gold medals in 2008 (Beijing) and 2012 (London). In 2018, Bryant was named, along with Yao Ming, a global ambassador for last year’s FIBA Basketball World Cup.

“Stern’s vision was always to make the N.B.A. a global sport and certainly, he was a commissioner who embraced that,” Michael Veley, a professor of sport management at Syracuse University, said. “But he needed players to also buy into that. It started with the Olympic team — The Dream Team — but after some of the superstars like Charles Barkley and Michael Jordan, the baton had to be passed on to other people who not only were going to be great players, but were going to represent the sport and talk about it on an international stage.”

Matteo Zuretti, the head of international relations for the N.B.A. players union, said in an interview that Bryant’s dominant play alone helped the league encourage more people outside the United States to take up the sport.

“When you are an international player and you stay up until 4 a.m. to watch your idol play, you’re so much removed from him that you develop a special connection,” Zuretti said. “Kobe had been super relevant for people in Los Angeles. But for a generation of international players, he was the winner and idol.”

Three American presidents and athletes, celebrities and fans around the world grieved for Bryant, who became a superstar as basketball grew into an international sensation.

President Trump said that Bryant was “just getting started in life,” even after a career that forever marked him as one of basketball’s greats.

“He loved his family so much, and had such strong passion for the future,” the president wrote on Twitter. “The loss of his beautiful daughter, Gianna, makes this moment even more devastating.”

Former President Barack Obama, who once welcomed the Lakers to the White House, posted on Twitter that Bryant was “a legend on the court and just getting started in what would have been just as meaningful a second act.”

The death of Bryant’s daughter, the former president added, “is even more heartbreaking to us as parents.”

Former President Bill Clinton, who was in the White House when Bryant ascended to the N.B.A., and his wife, former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, extolled how Bryant “brought excitement and joy to basketball fans not just in Los Angeles, but all over the U.S. and around the world.”

The Brazilian soccer star Neymar Jr. paid tribute to Bryant, as did the tennis player Naomi Osaka, who thanked him “for caring and checking up on me after my hard losses.”

Colin Kaepernick, the former N.F.L. quarterback whose kneeling during the national anthem in protest of racism and police brutality inspired a number of athletes to speak out publicly, said on Twitter that he would remember Bryant as a “basketball legend, a father & a man.”

The Italian Basketball Federation said on Monday that it would hold a moment of silence in every game this week for Bryant, who lived in Italy from ages 6 to 13 while his father played professional basketball there.

Bryant was fluent in Italian, and once said it would be a “dream” to play for the country, but in 2011, when an Italian team, Virtus Bologna, offered him a one-year contract during the N.B.A. lockout, the deal fell through, The Associated Press reported.

“It’s a small but heartfelt and deserved gesture to honor the life and memory of Kobe Bryant, an absolute champion who always had Italy in his heart,” the federation said in a statement. Bryant, the statement said, “was and will always be linked to our country.”

Los Angeles woke up Monday grappling with the loss of a global superstar who was, to Southern California, still a local hero. On Sunday, spontaneous shrines and vigils cropped up around the region, including outside Staples Center, the home of the Lakers, the team he played with for 20 seasons.

“He was not a perfect man, but we all have our faults,” Joe Rivas, a 28-year-old registered nurse, said on Sunday. “It’s beyond basketball.”

Los Angeles County officials have been worried by the number of people who tried to visit the crash site, which they said is located amid challenging terrain.

“We’re now faced with, I guess, well-wishers and people mourning who have descended on the area, on the residential community and even the crash site itself,” Sheriff Alex Villanueva said on Sunday evening. “We have to reiterate that it is off-limits to everybody except the first responders and investigators.”

Mourners, he said, could gather at a nearby park.

Tuesday promises to be a challenging day in Los Angeles, where the Lakers will play their first game since Bryant’s death. Their opponent? The Los Angeles Clippers.

The Washington Post suspended one of its reporters, Felicia Sonmez, after she published a series of tweets about Bryant in the hours after his death.

Sonmez initially tweeted a link to a Daily Beast article about sexual assault allegations made against Bryant in 2003 — a missive that stood out in the general outpouring of appreciation for Bryant and drew a swift backlash.

She followed up with a post about the negative responses she had received, including a screenshot of an email she had received that used offensive language, called her a lewd name and displayed the sender’s full name.

It was not immediately clear if any specific tweet prompted the suspension, and The Post said it was reviewing “whether tweets about the death of Kobe Bryant violated The Post newsroom’s social media policy.”

Separately, as the sheriff of Los Angeles County, Alex Villanueva, gave one of his first official update on the investigation, he declined to say whether Bryant was one of the victims and offered a pointed rebuke to the news organization that broke the news.

“It would be extremely disrespectful to understand your loved one has perished and you learn about it from TMZ,” he said. “That is just wholly inappropriate so we are not going to be going there. We are going to wait until the coroner does their job.”

TMZ did not immediately respond to a request for comment. The news media also drew criticism on Sunday after inaccurate reports circulated that four of Bryant’s children were killed in the crash, and a reporter for ABC News apologized for the report.

Reporting was contributed by Louis Keene, Kevin Draper, Elena Bergeron, Jennifer Medina, Neil Vigdor, Sopan Deb, Marc Stein, Jill Cowan, Miriam Jordan, Mihir Zaveri, Jon Hurdle, Rachel Abrams, Benjamin Hoffman, Jonah Engel Bromwich and Daniel Victor.

Real Estate, and Personal Injury Lawyers. Contact us at: https://westlakelegal.com 

Live Updates: Helicopter With Kobe Bryant Got Special Approval to Fly

Here’s what you need to know:

ImageWestlake Legal Group merlin_167927064_81cf96bf-d933-4fc9-ad42-dd886feef481-articleLarge Live Updates: Helicopter With Kobe Bryant Got Special Approval to Fly Los Angeles Lakers Los Angeles (Calif) Deaths (Fatalities) California CALABASAS, Calif. Bryant, Kobe Bryant, Gianna (2006-20) basketball Aviation Accidents, Safety and Disasters

A memorial for Kobe Bryant sits outside of Lower Merion High School in Ardmore, Pa., near Philadelphia. Bryant played at the school before going to the N.B.A.Credit…Hannah Yoon for The New York Times

The helicopter that crashed on Sunday with Kobe Bryant and eight other people on board, killing everyone, had received approval to fly even though weather conditions were worse than usual standards for flying.

The helicopter flew north from Orange County after takeoff on Sunday morning and circled near Burbank, waiting for clearance to keep going. According to audio records between the helicopter’s pilot and air traffic control at Burbank Airport, the helicopter was given what is known as Special Visual Flight Rules clearance, meaning they could proceed through Burbank’s airspace on a foggy morning in Southern California.

Whether the pilot made the right decision — to allow the helicopter to continue flying on despite low fog in the hillsides of Calabasas, where the aircraft crashed — will likely be at the center of the investigation into the cause of the crash.

Any special clearance from air traffic controllers would have allowed the pilot to fly through the controlled airspace around Burbank and Van Nuys, but would not give the flight permission to continue on to Calabasas.

Just before losing radio contact, the pilot asked for “flight following,” which allows controllers to track the flight and be in regular contact.

The controller responded that the helicopter was “too low level for flight following at this time.”

Sergeant Yvette Tuning, who was the watch commander for the Los Angeles Police Department’s Air Support Division on the morning of the crash, said that most of the Los Angeles basin was so cloudy that flights could be conducted only under instrument rules, on Sunday morning.

L.A.P.D. helicopters do not generally fly under those conditions. The visibility was less than two and a half miles from the department’s heliport near Union Station in downtown Los Angeles, she said.

She said these conditions occur more often in the winter and early in the summer, when fog along the coast is commonplace.

Tuning said the weather this winter, as it was on Monday morning, has been fairly clear, allowing helicopters to operate normally.

“But yesterday when I came to work I immediately saw it as I came down into the valley, that it was just socked in,” Tuning said. “So I already knew we” — meaning L.A.P.D. Air Support — “weren’t going to be flying unless it burned off quick. And it did not burn off quick.”

The retired Los Angeles Lakers star Kobe Bryant, 41, and his daughter Gianna died in a helicopter crash near Calabasas, Calif., on Sunday, along with seven other victims.

The helicopter was flying from Orange County, Calif., where the Bryant family lives, and crashed in foggy conditions about 30 miles northwest of downtown Los Angeles as it was en route to Bryant’s youth basketball academy.

The other passengers included the pilot, Ara Zobayan; the college baseball coach John Altobelli and Altobelli’s wife, Keri, and daughter Alyssa; Christina Mauser, a basketball coach; and Sarah and Payton Chester, a mother and daughter who lived in Orange County.

Sheriff Alex Villanueva of Los Angeles County said the helicopter went down in an area with “very rough terrain,” and that even emergency crews had found it dangerous trying to get there during daylight on Sunday. The debris field, he said, was roughly 100 yards in each direction.

The National Transportation Safety Board said it would look at the history of the pilot and any crew on board.

“We’ll be looking at maintenance records of the helicopter,” said Jennifer Homendy, a member of the board. “We will be looking at records of the owner and operator of the helicopter and a number of other things.”

It was not immediately clear how many passengers the helicopter was approved to transport, or whether the helicopter was overloaded.

The chief medical examiner for Los Angeles County, Dr. Jonathan R. Lucas, said it could take several days to recover the bodies from the crash site.

“We will be doing our work thoroughly, quickly and with the utmost compassion,” Lucas said. “We’re doing everything we can to confirm identifications and give closure to the families involved.”

The helicopter was traveling to the Mamba Sports Academy in Thousand Oaks, Calif., and its passengers included Bryant’s 13-year-old daughter Gianna, who played at the school.

Bryant coached her team, and Gianna, whose nickname was Gigi, was “hellbent” on playing for the University of Connecticut and in the W.N.B.A., he told The Los Angeles Times last year.

At a UConn game last year, the father and daughter sat courtside and Bryant was asked about his daughter picking up the game by SNY. “I watch the game through my daughter’s eyes,” he said.

John Altobelli, 56, a longtime baseball coach at Orange Coast College, a junior college in Costa Mesa. Calif., was also on the helicopter with his wife, Keri, and daughter Alyssa, according to a college spokesman.

“This is a tremendous loss for our campus community,” said Angelica Suarez, the president of Orange Coast College, in a statement.

Last year, Altobelli led the Pirates to the California Community College baseball state championship, their fourth state title with the coach, and he was named one of the American Baseball Coaches Association coaches of the year.

Jeff McNeil, a Mets All-Star infielder, had been coached by Altobelli, and told ESPN, “Him taking that chance on me, having me on his team, got me drafted.”

Although the California authorities have not publicly identified the victims, their relatives, friends and employers announced and grieved the deaths. The other victims are:

  • Sarah and Payton Chester, a mother and daughter who lived in Orange County

  • Christina Mauser, a California basketball coach who had worked with Gianna Bryant

  • Ara Zobayan, a pilot

Bryant was drafted to the N.B.A. directly out of high school in 1996, helped lead the Los Angeles Lakers to five championships, and was named an All-Star in 18 of his 20 seasons for the team. His hypercompetitive nature could lead to drama among coaches and teammates — which sometimes spilled over into public — but his commitment to winning was never questioned.

Adam Silver, the N.B.A. commissioner, hailed Bryant as “one of the most extraordinary players in the history of our game.”

“For 20 seasons, Kobe showed us what is possible when remarkable talent blends with an absolute devotion to winning,” Silver said, adding that Bryant would “be remembered most for inspiring people around the world to pick up a basketball and compete to the very best of their ability.”

Bryant’s tenacity and intensity won him respect from rivals and inspired those who followed him into the game. Tributes from other athletes rolled in on Sunday, as Bryant’s friends and rivals shared what he meant to them. His former teammate, Shaquille O’Neal, said he would hug Bryant’s children “like they were my own.”

Michael Jordan said in a statement that he spoke to Bryant often and that he was “like a little brother to me.” Dwyane Wade, the former Miami Heat star, said on Instagram that Bryant “was who I chased” and that it was “one of the saddest days in my lifetime.”

Bryant’s résumé included the N.B.A.’s Most Valuable Player Award for the 2007-8 season, the finals M.V.P. in both 2009 and 2010, an 81-point game in 2006 that is the second-highest single-game total in N.B.A. history and a sterling pedigree on the international stage, where he won gold medals for U.S.A. Basketball in the 2008 and 2012 Olympics.

In 2016, after various injuries had taken their toll on the longtime superstar, he ended his career by scoring 60 points in his final game.

Off the court, Bryant’s legacy was far more complicated. He was arrested in 2003 after a sexual assault complaint was filed against him in Colorado. A 19-year-old hotel employee claimed that Bryant, who was working to rehabilitate his knee following surgery, had raped her. The legal case against Bryant was eventually dropped, and a civil suit was settled privately out of court, but Bryant publicly apologized for the incident.

“Although I truly believe this encounter between us was consensual, I recognize now that she did not and does not view this incident the same way I did,” he said in his statement. “After months of reviewing discovery, listening to her attorney, and even her testimony in person, I now understand how she feels that she did not consent to this encounter.”

In retirement, Bryant expanded his purview, winning an Academy Award in 2018 for his animated short film “Dear Basketball” while also creating the web series “Detail” for ESPN in which he analyzed current players. He was scheduled to headline the 2020 N.B.A. Hall of Fame nominees.

Three American presidents and athletes, celebrities and fans around the world grieved for Bryant, who became a superstar as basketball grew into an international sensation.

President Trump said that Bryant was “just getting started in life,” even after a career that forever marked him as one of basketball’s greats.

“He loved his family so much, and had such strong passion for the future,” the president wrote on Twitter. “The loss of his beautiful daughter, Gianna, makes this moment even more devastating.”

Former President Barack Obama, who once welcomed the Lakers to the White House, posted on Twitter that Bryant was “a legend on the court and just getting started in what would have been just as meaningful a second act.”

The death of Bryant’s daughter, the former president added, “is even more heartbreaking to us as parents.”

Former President Bill Clinton, who was in the White House when Bryant ascended to the N.B.A., and his wife, former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, extolled how Bryant “brought excitement and joy to basketball fans not just in Los Angeles, but all over the U.S. and around the world.”

The Brazilian soccer star Neymar Jr. paid tribute to Bryant, as did the tennis player Naomi Osaka, who thanked him “for caring and checking up on me after my hard losses.”

Colin Kaepernick, the former N.F.L. quarterback whose kneeling during the national anthem in protest of racism and police brutality inspired a number of athletes to speak out publicly, said on Twitter that he would remember Bryant as a “basketball legend, a father & a man.”

The Italian Basketball Federation said on Monday that it would hold a moment of silence in every game this week for Bryant, who lived in Italy from ages 6 to 13 while his father played professional basketball there.

Bryant was fluent in Italian, and once said it would be a “dream” to play for the country, but in 2011, when an Italian team, Virtus Bologna, offered him a one-year contract during the N.B.A. lockout, the deal fell through, The Associated Press reported.

“It’s a small but heartfelt and deserved gesture to honor the life and memory of Kobe Bryant, an absolute champion who always had Italy in his heart,” the federation said in a statement. Bryant, the statement said, “was and will always be linked to our country.”

Los Angeles woke up Monday grappling with the loss of a global superstar who was, to Southern California, still a local hero. On Sunday, spontaneous shrines and vigils cropped up around the region, including outside Staples Center, the home of the Lakers, the team he played with for 20 seasons.

“He was not a perfect man, but we all have our faults,” Joe Rivas, a 28-year-old registered nurse, said on Sunday. “It’s beyond basketball.”

Los Angeles County officials have been worried by the number of people who tried to visit the crash site, which they said is located amid challenging terrain.

“We’re now faced with, I guess, well-wishers and people mourning who have descended on the area, on the residential community and even the crash site itself,” Sheriff Alex Villanueva said on Sunday evening. “We have to reiterate that it is off-limits to everybody except the first responders and investigators.”

Mourners, he said, could gather at a nearby park.

Tuesday promises to be a challenging day in Los Angeles, where the Lakers will play their first game since Bryant’s death. Their opponent? The Los Angeles Clippers.

The Washington Post suspended one of its reporters, Felicia Sonmez, after she published a series of tweets about Bryant in the hours after his death.

Sonmez initially tweeted a link to a Daily Beast article about sexual assault allegations made against Bryant in 2003 — a missive that stood out in the general outpouring of appreciation for Bryant and drew a swift backlash.

She followed up with a post about the negative responses she had received, including a screenshot of an email she had received that used offensive language, called her a lewd name and displayed the sender’s full name.

It was not immediately clear if any specific tweet prompted the suspension, and The Post said it was reviewing “whether tweets about the death of Kobe Bryant violated The Post newsroom’s social media policy.”

Separately, as the sheriff of Los Angeles County, Alex Villanueva, gave one of his first official update on the investigation, he declined to say whether Bryant was one of the victims and offered a pointed rebuke to the news organization that broke the news.

“It would be extremely disrespectful to understand your loved one has perished and you learn about it from TMZ,” he said. “That is just wholly inappropriate so we are not going to be going there. We are going to wait until the coroner does their job.”

TMZ did not immediately respond to a request for comment. The news media also drew criticism on Sunday after inaccurate reports circulated that four of Bryant’s children were killed in the crash, and a reporter for ABC News apologized for the report.

Reporting was contributed by Kevin Draper, Elena Bergeron, Jennifer Medina, Neil Vigdor, Marc Stein, Jill Cowan, Miriam Jordan, Mihir Zaveri, Jon Hurdle, Rachel Abrams, Benjamin Hoffman, Jonah Engel Bromwich and Daniel Victor.

Real Estate, and Personal Injury Lawyers. Contact us at: https://westlakelegal.com 

Kobe Bryant’s Death: Live Updates and Reactions

Here’s what you need to know:

ImageWestlake Legal Group 27-Kobe-livebriefing-articleLarge Kobe Bryant's Death: Live Updates and Reactions Los Angeles Lakers Los Angeles (Calif) Deaths (Fatalities) California CALABASAS, Calif. Bryant, Kobe Bryant, Gianna (2006-20) basketball Aviation Accidents, Safety and Disasters

Mourners outside Staples Center on Sunday paid tribute to Kobe Bryant, who was a star with the Los Angeles Lakers.Credit…David Walter Banks for The New York Times

The helicopter that crashed on Sunday with Kobe Bryant and eight other people on board, killing everyone, had received approval to fly even though weather conditions were worse than usual standards for flying.

The helicopter flew north from Orange County after takeoff on Sunday morning and circled near Burbank, waiting for clearance to keep going. According to audio records between the helicopter’s pilot and air traffic control at Burbank Airport, the helicopter was given what is known as Special Visual Flight Rules clearance, allowing the pilot and his passengers to continue on a foggy morning in Southern California.

Whether that was the right decision is likely to be at the center of the investigation into the cause of the crash.

Later in the flight, just before losing radio contact, the pilot asked for “flight following,” which allows controllers to track the flight and be in regular contact.

The controller responded that the helicopter was “too low level for flight following at this time.”

Sergeant Yvette Tuning, who was the watch commander for the Los Angeles Police Department’s Air Support Division on the morning of the crash, said that most of the Los Angeles basin was so cloudy that flights could be conducted only under instrument rules, on Sunday morning.

L.A.P.D. helicopters do not generally fly under those conditions. The visibility was less than two and a half miles from the department’s heliport near Union Station in downtown Los Angeles, she said.

She said these conditions occur more often in the winter and early in the summer, when fog along the coast is commonplace.

Tuning said the weather this winter, as it was on Monday morning, has been fairly clear, allowing helicopters to operate normally.

“But yesterday when I came to work I immediately saw it as I came down into the valley, that it was just socked in,” Tuning said. “So I already knew we” — meaning L.A.P.D. Air Support — “weren’t going to be flying unless it burned off quick. And it did not burn off quick.”

The retired Los Angeles Lakers star Kobe Bryant, 41, and his daughter Gianna died in a helicopter crash near Calabasas, Calif., on Sunday, along with seven other victims.

The helicopter was flying from Orange County, Calif., where the Bryant family lives, and crashed in foggy conditions about 30 miles northwest of downtown Los Angeles as it was en route to Bryant’s youth basketball academy.

The other passengers included the pilot, Ara Zobayan; the college baseball coach John Altobelli and Altobelli’s wife, Keri, and daughter Alyssa; Christina Mauser, a basketball coach; and Sarah and Payton Chester, a mother and daughter who lived in Orange County.

Sheriff Alex Villanueva of Los Angeles County said the helicopter went down in an area with “very rough terrain,” and that even emergency crews had found it dangerous trying to get there during daylight on Sunday. The debris field, he said, was roughly 100 yards in each direction.

The National Transportation Safety Board said it would look at the history of the pilot and any crew on board.

“We’ll be looking at maintenance records of the helicopter,” said Jennifer Homendy, a member of the board. “We will be looking at records of the owner and operator of the helicopter and a number of other things.”

It was not immediately clear how many passengers the helicopter was approved to transport, or whether the helicopter was overloaded.

The chief medical examiner for Los Angeles County, Dr. Jonathan R. Lucas, said it could take several days to recover the bodies from the crash site.

“We will be doing our work thoroughly, quickly and with the utmost compassion,” Lucas said. “We’re doing everything we can to confirm identifications and give closure to the families involved.”

The helicopter was traveling to the Mamba Sports Academy in Thousand Oaks, Calif., and its passengers included Bryant’s 13-year-old daughter Gianna, who played at the school.

Bryant coached her team, and Gianna, whose nickname was Gigi, was “hellbent” on playing for the University of Connecticut and in the W.N.B.A., he told The Los Angeles Times last year.

At a UConn game last year, the father and daughter sat courtside and Bryant was asked about his daughter picking up the game by SNY. “I watch the game through my daughter’s eyes,” he said.

John Altobelli, 56, a longtime baseball coach at Orange Coast College, a junior college in Costa Mesa. Calif., was also on the helicopter with his wife, Keri, and daughter Alyssa, according to a college spokesman.

“This is a tremendous loss for our campus community,” said Angelica Suarez, the president of Orange Coast College, in a statement.

Last year, Altobelli led the Pirates to the California Community College baseball state championship, their fourth state title with the coach, and he was named one of the American Baseball Coaches Association coaches of the year.

Jeff McNeil, a Mets All-Star infielder, had been coached by Altobelli, and told ESPN, “Him taking that chance on me, having me on his team, got me drafted.”

Although the California authorities have not publicly identified the victims, their relatives, friends and employers announced and grieved the deaths. The other victims are:

  • Sarah and Payton Chester, a mother and daughter who lived in Orange County

  • Christina Mauser, a California basketball coach who had worked with Gianna Bryant

  • Ara Zobayan, a pilot

Bryant was drafted to the N.B.A. directly out of high school in 1996, helped lead the Los Angeles Lakers to five championships, and was named an All-Star in 18 of his 20 seasons for the team. His hypercompetitive nature could lead to drama among coaches and teammates — which sometimes spilled over into public — but his commitment to winning was never questioned.

Adam Silver, the N.B.A. commissioner, hailed Bryant as “one of the most extraordinary players in the history of our game.”

“For 20 seasons, Kobe showed us what is possible when remarkable talent blends with an absolute devotion to winning,” Silver said, adding that Bryant would “be remembered most for inspiring people around the world to pick up a basketball and compete to the very best of their ability.”

Bryant’s tenacity and intensity won him respect from rivals and inspired those who followed him into the game. Tributes from other athletes rolled in on Sunday, as Bryant’s friends and rivals shared what he meant to them. His former teammate, Shaquille O’Neal, said he would hug Bryant’s children “like they were my own.”

Michael Jordan said in a statement that he spoke to Bryant often and that he was “like a little brother to me.” Dwyane Wade, the former Miami Heat star, said on Instagram that Bryant “was who I chased” and that it was “one of the saddest days in my lifetime.”

Bryant’s résumé included the N.B.A.’s Most Valuable Player Award for the 2007-8 season, the finals M.V.P. in both 2009 and 2010, an 81-point game in 2006 that is the second-highest single-game total in N.B.A. history and a sterling pedigree on the international stage, where he won gold medals for U.S.A. Basketball in the 2008 and 2012 Olympics.

In 2016, after various injuries had taken their toll on the longtime superstar, he ended his career by scoring 60 points in his final game.

Off the court, Bryant’s legacy was far more complicated. He was arrested in 2003 after a sexual assault complaint was filed against him in Colorado. A 19-year-old hotel employee claimed that Bryant, who was working to rehabilitate his knee following surgery, had raped her. The legal case against Bryant was eventually dropped, and a civil suit was settled privately out of court, but Bryant publicly apologized for the incident.

“Although I truly believe this encounter between us was consensual, I recognize now that she did not and does not view this incident the same way I did,” he said in his statement. “After months of reviewing discovery, listening to her attorney, and even her testimony in person, I now understand how she feels that she did not consent to this encounter.”

In retirement, Bryant expanded his purview, winning an Academy Award in 2018 for his animated short film “Dear Basketball” while also creating the web series “Detail” for ESPN in which he analyzed current players. He was scheduled to headline the 2020 N.B.A. Hall of Fame nominees.

Three American presidents and athletes, celebrities and fans around the world grieved for Bryant, who became a superstar as basketball grew into an international sensation.

President Trump said that Bryant was “just getting started in life,” even after a career that forever marked him as one of basketball’s greats.

“He loved his family so much, and had such strong passion for the future,” the president wrote on Twitter. “The loss of his beautiful daughter, Gianna, makes this moment even more devastating.”

Former President Barack Obama, who once welcomed the Lakers to the White House, posted on Twitter that Bryant was “a legend on the court and just getting started in what would have been just as meaningful a second act.”

The death of Bryant’s daughter, the former president added, “is even more heartbreaking to us as parents.”

Former President Bill Clinton, who was in the White House when Bryant ascended to the N.B.A., and his wife, former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, extolled how Bryant “brought excitement and joy to basketball fans not just in Los Angeles, but all over the U.S. and around the world.”

The Brazilian soccer star Neymar Jr. paid tribute to Bryant, as did the tennis player Naomi Osaka, who thanked him “for caring and checking up on me after my hard losses.”

Colin Kaepernick, the former N.F.L. quarterback whose kneeling during the national anthem in protest of racism and police brutality inspired a number of athletes to speak out publicly, said on Twitter that he would remember Bryant as a “basketball legend, a father & a man.”

The Italian Basketball Federation said on Monday that it would hold a moment of silence in every game this week for Bryant, who lived in Italy from ages 6 to 13 while his father played professional basketball there.

Bryant was fluent in Italian, and once said it would be a “dream” to play for the country, but in 2011, when an Italian team, Virtus Bologna, offered him a one-year contract during the N.B.A. lockout, the deal fell through, The Associated Press reported.

“It’s a small but heartfelt and deserved gesture to honor the life and memory of Kobe Bryant, an absolute champion who always had Italy in his heart,” the federation said in a statement. Bryant, the statement said, “was and will always be linked to our country.”

Los Angeles woke up Monday grappling with the loss of a global superstar who was, to Southern California, still a local hero. On Sunday, spontaneous shrines and vigils cropped up around the region, including outside Staples Center, the home of the Lakers, the team he played with for 20 seasons.

“He was not a perfect man, but we all have our faults,” Joe Rivas, a 28-year-old registered nurse, said on Sunday. “It’s beyond basketball.”

Los Angeles County officials have been worried by the number of people who tried to visit the crash site, which they said is located amid challenging terrain.

“We’re now faced with, I guess, well-wishers and people mourning who have descended on the area, on the residential community and even the crash site itself,” Sheriff Alex Villanueva said on Sunday evening. “We have to reiterate that it is off-limits to everybody except the first responders and investigators.”

Mourners, he said, could gather at a nearby park.

Tuesday promises to be a challenging day in Los Angeles, where the Lakers will play their first game since Bryant’s death. Their opponent? The Los Angeles Clippers.

Hundreds of Bryant fans gathered near the site of the helicopter crash to mourn his death on Sunday afternoon, after it had been reported for hours by major news outlets and circulated widely on social media.

But around 5 p.m., when it came time for the sheriff of Los Angeles County, Alex Villanueva, to give an official update on an investigation, he declined to say whether Bryant was one of the victims, saying the victims’ families should be notified first.

And he offered a pointed rebuke to the news organization that broke the news. “It would be extremely disrespectful to understand your loved one has perished and you learn about it from TMZ,” he said. “That is just wholly inappropriate so we are not going to be going there. We are going to wait until the coroner does their job.”

TMZ did not immediately respond to a request for comment. The news media also drew criticism on Sunday after inaccurate reports circulated that four of Bryant’s children were killed in the crash, and a reporter for ABC News apologized for the report.

Reporting was contributed by Kevin Draper, Elena Bergeron, Jennifer Medina, Neil Vigdor, Marc Stein, Jill Cowan, Miriam Jordan, Mihir Zaveri, Jon Hurdle, Rachel Abrams, Benjamin Hoffman, Jonah Engel Bromwich and Daniel Victor.

Real Estate, and Personal Injury Lawyers. Contact us at: https://westlakelegal.com