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THE NEWS:

The death of Kobe Bryant yesterday at age 41 sent shockwaves through the NBA and sports world. Countless tributes have been written for Bryant, who was on his way to a youth basketball tournament in California with his 13-year-old daughter, Gianna, when the helicopter carrying them crashed. All nine people on board died.

“Kobe was a legend on the court and just getting started in what would have been just as meaningful a second act,” President Barack Obama wrote on Twitter. “To lose Gianna is even more heartbreaking to us as parents. Michelle and I send love and prayers to Vanessa and the entire Bryant family on an unthinkable day.”

News trickled out about Bryant’s death in the early afternoon as a slate of NBA games were set to begin. Several teams, including the Wizards, who were playing in Atlanta against the Hawks, honored the basketball great by holding a moment of silence and taking a 24-second violation to start the game. (Bryant wore a No. 24 jersey for much of his career.)

Wizards star Bradley Beal could be seen with tears in his eyes as he learned of the news, and his fiancée, Kamiah Adams, argued that the games should’ve been canceled. “It’s beyond hurtful and unfair to the players who are being forced to go out and play after receiving such devastating news,” she wrote on Twitter. Wizards guard Isaiah Thomas had just spoken with Bryant last week: “2017, I lose my sister; 2019, I lose one of my best friends in Nipsey Hussle; and then to lose a mentor of mine, that’s bigger than basketball,” Thomas said (according to The Athletic’s Fred Katz). “That shit hurts.”

Bryant clearly meant a lot to many people, and his sudden death is a reminder of the fragility of life. His passing also led to plenty of discussion about his legacy.

“I have been very upfront about how I felt about Kobe and his legacy, but this is devastating news and I’m honestly just sitting here stunned,” wrote journalist (and occasional City Paper contributor) Lindsay Gibbs on Twitter. Gibbs has written extensively about Bryant’s legacy off the court for ThinkProgress, including about his 2003 rape case. “Give yourself and others room to feel complicated feelings of grief. Thinking of his wife and daughters, and also of survivors.”

“I’m not saying to ignore the tough parts of Bryant’s legacy,” she continued. “But be careful not to ‘well, actually’ someone’s grief. This is a tragedy.” —Kelyn Soong(tips? Email agomez@washingtoncitypaper.com

CITY DESK LINKS, by Amanda Michelle Gomez:

  • For the first time while in office, Mayor Muriel Bowser has leased a vacant school building to a charter. [Post]

  • Listserv for a wealthy Alexandria neighborhood goes bananas after residents learn about a nonexistent plan for affordable housing. [Washingtonian]

  • D.C. to install corrals for those errantly parked dockless scooters. [DCist]

LOOSE LIPS LINKS, by Mitch Ryals (tips? mryals@washingtoncitypaper.com)

  • What is the D.C. Council to do about arcade-like bar game Dragon’s Ascent? [Post]

  • Democrats push to increase the minimum wage in Virginia. [WAMU]

  • Chander Jayaraman is the first at-large Council candidate to qualify for public campaign financing. He’s running to replace the outgoing David Grosso. [DCist]

  • Gov. Ralph Northam wants a gas tax to pay for his transportation bill. [Post]

YOUNG & HUNGRY LINKS, by Laura Hayes (tips? lhayes@washingtoncitypaper.com

Y&H is out of the office.

ARTS LINKS, by Kayla Randall (tips? krandall@washingtoncitypaper.com)

  • Mosaic Theater Company’s Pilgrims Musa and Sheri in the New World is an immigrant story full of warmth. [WCP]

  • Local thespian Kevin McAllister heads to Broadway in the new production ofCaroline, or Change. [Playbill]

  • Here are 92 fascinating things to see and do in Washington. [Washingtonian]

SPORTS LINKS, by Kelyn Soong (tips? ksoong@washingtoncitypaper.com)

  • “His legacy will continue to live on through the many people he touched and influenced throughout his life of basketball and beyond,” Wizards owner Ted Leonsis said in a statement. [Twitter]

  • Ryan Zimmerman is coming back to the Nats on a one-year deal. [ESPN]

  • Both the Maryland men’s and women’s basketball teams scored wins this weekend. [The Diamondback, Testudo Times]

MAKE PLANS, by Emma Sarappo (Love this section? Get the full To Do This Week newsletter here. Tips? esarappo@washingtoncitypaper.com)