It was a normal day like any other.
I had been lying in bed waiting to go to work when I received a text.
The text asked, “Have you heard Kobe died in a helicopter crash?”
Of course, me, being a huge basketball fan (of the Knicks, unfortunately), thought immediately, “Yeah, right,” sarcastically.
Kobe Bryant was a legend amongst legends.
Easily, in the top 10 NBA players of all time.
And yet, I still checked the Bleacher Report app to ensure that the news was fake.
I felt relieved as I only saw news of the Lakers defeat at the hands of the 76ers and LeBron passing Kobe in all-time scoring dominated the news.
However, that relief was short-lived as I typed Kobe into google and immediately the words “helicopter crash” and “died” caught my attention.
Finding out such an untouchable legend died in such a way was purely shocking.
It was made even worse when news that his 13-year-old daughter, Gianna Bryant, and seven others, from parents to children, had passed along with him.
Nine in total, from mothers to fathers to daughters, all died in a helicopter crash.
This event has left such a heavy impact on families, communities and the world at large.
Kobe Bryant was one of the best players to ever play the game.
He was fourth in all-time scoring at 33,643 and once scored 81 points in a single game, the second-highest number of points ever scored.
It’s easy to see the impact of Kobe just by watching any of the NBA games after his death.
Many games started with a moment of silence and a 24-hour violation, as a reference to one of his two jersey numbers.
Not to mention, the sheer amount of teary-eyed NBA stars that are playing in these games.
His impact can even be seen in everyday parks where you can sometimes see the average Joe chucking up a contested fade away yelling “Kobe!”
This goes to show just how much he impacted not just the NBA but the basketball community as a whole.
His trademark “mamba mentality” was known worldwide as an all-around phrase that represents hard work and victory in any setting.
He was one of the most influential figures, not just in the world of basketball, but the world in general.
Kobe Bryant embodied work ethic and his insane pain tolerance made for some amazing stories told from many different perspectives.
This made for tales that sounded like the stuff of legends.
Even with all of that, he just retired four years ago, which means he will never even be able to see his own hall of fame induction.
However, even with little time to digest his full career, Kobe had already made the most of post-retirement career.
In his four short years off the court, he had dedicated himself to starting basketball camps, coaching his now-deceased daughter’s basketball team, making videos analyzing overlooked aspects of the game and even mentoring the NBA stars of today.
However, with such an impact left behind and so many legendary tales to be retold, it begs the question:
How will we remember him?
Will it be as a legend?
A hall of Famer?
The greatest of all time?
There’s so much to remember and many will remember him in many different ways, but one thing’s abundantly clear:
Kobe Bryant will never be forgotten.
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