A short-lived animated series from Comedy Central showed basketball legend Kobe Bryant dying in a helicopter crash in a 2016 episode that has now been pulled from the internet.
The Los Angeles Lakers legend and future NBA Hall of Famer was killed on Sunday when a helicopter he was traveling in crashed in Calabasas, California. Bryant’s 13-year-old daughter, Gianna, was also killed in the accident, along with seven other people as the plane headed to the teen’s basketball game.
In the wake of Bryant’s tragic passing, many took to the internet to share a clip from the basketball-centered animated series Legends of Chamberlain Heights that showed Bryant in a helicopter that crashed and then exploded. The punchline was that the superstar had a chance to save himself if he would pass to rescuers two versions of the Larry O’Brien NBA Championship Trophy that he was clutching, but the Lakers legend — who was sometimes criticized as a ball hog — could not understand the concept of passing the ball to his teammates. The helicopter then burst into flames.
While the video has attracted some viral attention across social media, Comedy Central has removed the episode from its website and deleted it from their Facebook page, KASI reported.
The makers of the show also took to Twitter to pass a message of condolences to the Bryant family and asked people not to share the video.
“Out of respect for Kobe and his family we have removed the clip of him and ask that you please don’t share it,” they wrote on Twitter. “RIP Kobe and Gigi Bryant and everyone else who died in the helicopter crash today.”
Sunday’s crash remains under investigation, but there are early indications that the weather conditions might have played a factor in it. As The Inquisitr reported earlier on Monday, the aircraft’s pilot got special permission to fly under what was known as Special Visual Flight Rules.
The helicopter crashed several minutes into its flight — and shortly after flight control contacted the pilot to warn him that he was flying too low. They had also asked for “flight following,” which meant the pilot would keep in regular contact with the control tower. It was not long afterward that the aircraft lost radio contact with the tower.
A number of tributes have rolled in for Bryant, from those who played with and against him to world leaders like former President Barack Obama.