CALABASAS, Calif. -- Basketball fans have been gathering near Staples Center and site of the crash that killed Kobe Bryant, sharing memories of the Lakers star even as they continue to process their grief.
One resident of Calabasas, the town where the chopper crashed, said he heard a helicopter flying low overhead in the morning. He didn't realize it had crashed until he heard news reports about Bryant.
"This entire block, this entire street should be dedicated to Kobe Bryant. There should be a memorial," said the fan, A.J. "This is one of the saddest days in sports history, this is one of the saddest days in Los Angeles history. To have someone like Kobe Bryant, someone we all loved so much, for it to end like this, for this to happen to him is incredibly sad, it's horrible."
Some fans donned Bryant jerseys as they gathered, remembering his incredible accomplishments on the court and expressing admiration for his character.
"I'm at a loss for words," said one fan, Michael. "I loved him for his work ethic, but I loved him as a family man also."
At Staples Center, thousands of fans showed up, creating impromptu memorials with candles and flowers and holding Lakers banners. A digital sign at LA Live showed an image of Bryant with the words "In Loving Memory of Kobe Bryant."
Fans were also seen gathering near the Lakers practice facility in El Segundo.