FILE - In this July 26, 2018 file photo former Los Angeles Laker Kobe Bryant and his daughter Gianna watch during the U.S. national championships swimming meet in Irvine, Calif. Bryant, the 18-time NBA All-Star who won five championships and became one of the greatest basketball players of his generation during a 20-year career with the Los Angeles Lakers, died in a helicopter crash Sunday, Jan. 26, 2020. Gianna also died in the crash. She was 13.
Photo: AP Photo/Chris Carlson
Photo: AP Photo/Chris Carlson

ABC airing Kobe Bryant special tonight at 10 p.m.

Originally posted Sunday, January 26, 2020 by RODNEY HO/rho@ajc.com on his AJC Radio & TV Talk blog

The Kobe Bryant death has reverberated quickly around the world since it broke mid afternoon and ABC News, sharing resources with sister station ESPN, is putting together a quick special on the NBA legend at 10 p.m. tonight.

It will air on ABC and ESPN. Locally, the ABC affiliate is WSB-TV.

Former Atlantan and “Good Morning America” host Robin Roberts will join ABC News reporter Tom Rinaldi to anchor the special, which will blend updates on the accident itself with a retrospective on Bryant’s career and life.

They are gathering interviews past and present from  basketball players and people that knew him. 

NBA TV, in the meantime, has been airing hours of non-stop discussion of the future NBA Hall of Famer, who retired just three years ago. 

Even CNN, which has been on almost non-stop impeachment news stream, has had Wolf Blitzer discussing Bryant instead. CNN interviewed him January 15 and they aired that interview during the 7 p.m. hour. (MSNBC at 7:56 p.m. was airing impeachment news while Fox News was airing a town hall with Pete Buttigieg.)

At 8 p.m., Lizzo opened the Grammy Awards with the pronouncement: “Tonight is for Kobe!”

“We’re all feeling crazy sadness right now,” said Alicia Keys at Staples Center in Los Angeles. “We’re literally standing here heartbroken in the house that Kobe Bryant built.” 

She then sang a snippet of “It’s So Hard to Say Goodbye to Yesterday” with Boyz II Men in his honor. 

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About the Author

Rodney Ho
Rodney Ho
Rodney Ho covers radio and television for the Atlanta Journal-Constitution.
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