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REPORT: Kobe Bryant trial requested to be moved out of LA by pilot’s family

Lakers, NBA, Kobe Bryant

The family of Ara Zobayan, the pilot who manned the helicopter that crashed and killed Kobe Bryant and several passengers, has requested the trial to be moved out of Los Angeles primarily due to the NBA legend’s immense popularity.

In court documents acquired by TMZ Sports, Zobayan’s family expressed their fears of possibly not receiving a fair trial due to Bryant’s “extreme level of popularity” in the city. Kobe played for the Los Angeles Lakers for 20 years before retiring in 2016.

“The notoriety and popularity of the late Kobe Bryant in Los Angeles County is detailed herein and reached a level that left no person in the county unaware of his role in branding Los Angeles as his city,” Zobayan’s family said in the new court docs.

“No other single individual in recent memory, sports figure or otherwise, has been considered by the people to be such a personification of their city of Los Angeles… But with that unprecedented level of acclaim comes a lack of impartiality and objectivity by potential jurors about the merits under the law of the claims asserted in this lawsuit by the Bryant family.”

The Zobayan family added that the case should be moved to Orange County where they believe they could get a fair trial. They also noted that the NBA icon Bryant and all of the passengers lived in Orange County.

In an earlier report, the Zobayan family’s lawyer noted that “an impartial jury cannot be empaneled in Los Angeles Superior Court in this matter.”

After news of Bryant and his daughter’s death, dedications from all over the world flooded social media. Former teammates, Lakers diehards, and even casual NBA fans expressed their sorrow and grief.

In the city of Los Angeles, graphic artists made Kobe and Gigi murals. They made their art onto the city’s walls and various establishments. In the memorial last February, fans flocked to Staples Center to show their love and support to Vanessa Bryant and family.