Pilot in Kobe Bryant's tragic crash also flew for Kawhi Leonard

The tragic death of Los Angeles Lakers legend Kobe Bryant has devastated the entire NBA, but the specifics of the helicopter crash that took the lives of Bryant, his daughter and seven others carry even more meaning for a crosstown rival.

Ara Zobayan, Bryant’s preferred helicopter pilot who was at the controls during the crash, was also the personal pilot of Los Angeles Clippers star Kawhi Leonard, Yahoo Sports senior NBA insider Chris Haynes reports.

Like many other NBA stars, Leonard also had a close personal relationship with Bryant.

MIAMI, FLORIDA - JANUARY 24:  Kawhi Leonard #2 of the LA Clippers looks on against the Miami Heat during the first half at American Airlines Arena on January 24, 2020 in Miami, Florida. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and/or using this photograph, user is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement.  (Photo by Michael Reaves/Getty Images)
Kobe Bryant's death has been felt across the league, including on the Laker's crosstown rivals. (Photo by Michael Reaves/Getty Images)

Tuesday’s game between the Lakers and the Clippers was postponed as grief continued to hit the Lakers organization.

Per the Los Angeles Times, Zobayan was an experienced pilot and certified flight instructor with more than 8,000 hours of flight time.

While the National Transportation Safety Board has only released a preliminary analysis of what caused the fatal crash, experts have pointed to heavy fog in the area that limited visibility and low altitude for Zoboyan’s flight as major factors.

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