Early Sunday afternoon the world was in shock due to the tragic death of NBA basketball legend Kobe Bryant, his thirteen-year-old daughter Gigi, and 7 others in a helicopter accident. The basketball community, Los Angeles, and the whole world were in deep shock due to the sudden loss of Bryant. Kobe played 20 seasons with the Los Angeles Lakers, winning 5 NBA championships, going to 18 all-star games, and winning two Olympic gold medals with Team USA.
Bryant captivated the league coming right out of high school into the NBA only being 17 when drafted. Bryant, being from Philly, always played with grit, toughness, and a chip on his shoulder like the people of Philadelphia. The night prior Lebron James passed Bryant for third all-time scoring where Bryant would give recognition to James and the incredible accomplishment. NBA games on Sunday were quiet and somber as the world learned of the passing. Bryant was a pioneer for the game and changed the way it is played. He was an idol for many growing up as many wanted to be like Kobe just like the generation before wanted to be like Mike.
Brooklyn Nets guard Kyrie Irving was scheduled to play Sunday afternoon, but following the death of Bryant, Irving left the arena and went home and did not play in the game. Several of the games that occurred involved teams taking an 8-second violation to begin the game for Bryant who wore number 8. Following the 8 second violation, the opposing teams would take a 24-second violation for Bryants other number 24. The Los Angeles Lakers and Clippers were scheduled to play Tuesday night, but the NBA rescheduled the game due to the pain that everyone is going through.
For many, including myself, it is extremely to process the news as it seems as if a legend like Kobe can never die. Social media shared their thoughts as President Trump, President Obama, Shaquille O’Neal, Tom Brady, Mark Cuban, Saquon Barkley, and many other notable people who mourned the loss of a great friend. Fans gathered outside of the Staples Center in Los Angeles placing down flowers, candles, jerseys, and even a large board for fans to write their thoughts on. The Grammy awards would take place later that night in the Staples Center, with somber feels as the music industry mourned and honored the fallen hero. Several tributes and recognitions were given to Bryant throughout the night as the world still tries to cope.
Many hated Bryant on the court due to his continued dominance for the years he played with the Lakers, Bryant stated that if people didn’t hate him on the court then “I wasn’t doing my job”. Off the court, Bryant was an outstanding father and man raising his daughters to be as successful as him. His second oldest daughter, Gianna, was the one who hoped to carry on the Bryant name as she wanted to play at UCONN as well as play in the WNBA. Uconn honored Gianna by placing down flowers and a jersey on their bench for a girl who’s dream it was to play for their program. As many still try to cope, it is time that the world remembers and celebrates the life and career that Bryant lived. Bryant wanted people to live each day to the fullest and love their family before anything else. His legacy will be one that lives on forever and will never be replicated. Mamba Out.