NBA Legend:Kobe Bryant

On Sunday, January 26th, 2020 people woke up to the devastating news that former NBA superstar, Kobe Bryant, perished in a helicopter accident in Calabasas, California. A few hours later TMZ stated that Bryant’s 13 year old daughter, Gianna Bryant, had also been on the helicopter. Later on it was confirmed that seven other people had also lost their lives in the unfortunate accident.

Bryant was an 18 time All-Star who was known for his scoring ability. Known as the Black Mamba, he won various NBA titles during his 20 year carer playing with the Los Angeles Lakers. Athletes and fans of Kobe Bryant mourned his death on Sunday and that of his daughter as well. Shaquille O’Neal tweeted, “Kobe was so much more than an athlete, he was a family man. That was what we had most in common.” NBA Commissioner, Adam Silver stated, “For 20 seasons, Kobe showed us what is possible when remarkable talent blends with an absolute devotion to winning.”

Kobe Bryant was, at the time, the youngest player drafted to the NBA, right after high school, when he was seventeen years old. He played high school basketball at Lower Merion in Pennsylvania before he moved to California. Amy Buckman, spokeswoman for the Lower Merion School District stated, “Mr. Bryant’s connection to Lower Merion High School, where he played basketball prior to joining the NBA, has raised the profile of our high school and our district throughout the world.” He got drafted in 1996 by the Charlotte Hornets and was then traded to the Los Angeles Lakers. Bryant is one of the most decorated players in NBA history, including two Olympic gold medals in 2008 and 2012. Bryant finished his basketball career with 33,643 points, third highest of all time. A day before he died, Laker player Lebron James passed Bryant’s all-time scoring record. James looked up to Bryant and even said, “He helped me before he even knew of me because of what he was able to do… Kobe’s a legend.”

Bryant had a large family, including four daughters. He married his wife, Vanessa in 2001; their four daughters were Natalia (17), Gianna(13), Bianka (3), and Capri (7 months). On the day of the accident Bryant and his daughter, Gianna, were expected at the Mamba Sports Academy in Thousand Oaks for Gianna’s basketball game. Kobe Bryant was his daughter’s coach, meaning he spent a lot of time with her and at the Mamba Sports Academy. Gianna’s dream was to play at the University of Connecticut and eventually play in the WNBA. On January 29th, Vanessa Bryant made her Instagram public and made a statement on her husband and daughter’s passing.

Bryant’s legacy will live on due to his history in basketball and how dedicated he was to his family. Thousands of people gathered at the Staples Center during the weekend to memorialize Kobe Bryant and his effect on their lives.

 

 

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